For a third straight game, the Red Sox held the Orioles scoreless, this time behind a strong performance from Henry Owens, completing a sweep of Baltimore with a 2-0 win.
For Owens, this performance was not as dominant as Rich Hill's, or as miraculous as the bullpen's, but in any other series, it would likely have marked the high point for the rotation. Really, this marks the third straight impressive performance from the young lefty, whose four earned runs against the Rays belie the fact that he could have gotten out of that game with two earned in seven innings had he not been sent back out for the eighth.
There's no need for excuses (however valid) today, though. Owens was excellent, full stop. The Orioles would not move a runner past first base through the first five innings, and they only had three that made it even that far, with one of those coming via a Xander Bogaerts error in the third. Owens picked up his shortstop by getting Manny Machado to strike out on a changeup, and then getting an easy fly ball from Chris Davis.
The Sox, on the other hand, were fairing a bit better at the plate, if not lighting things up like in game one or being gifted offense as in game two. They did exchange gifts of sorts with the Orioles in the first. After Brock Holt drew a one-out walk, Xander Bogaerts gave away an out by trying for two bases on a single to left. But he managed to get Holt to third with two outs, and for once, that mattered, as a changeup to David Ortiz bounced into the plate and away from Caleb Joseph. It didn't get far at all, just a couple yards to the first base side, but Holt took off immediately, and slid home without much trouble. It was half a gift from the Orioles, half the sort of high-energy play we've come to expect from the recently resurgent Holt.
Jimenez would find himself in and out of trouble a few more times, as Baltimore's defense was once again spotty behind him, but the only other run for Boston today took the defense out of the picture entirely, with Blake Swihart catching a backdoor slider that caught way too much of the plate. Given just about the perfect pitch to hit, Swihart did just that, crushing a solo shot into the bullpen to make it 2-0.
The Orioles' best chance to mount a comeback would come in the sixth. For the first and only time, they would manage two baserunners in the inning, the first on a solid single into left, the second on a far less impressive ground ball back to Henry Owens, putting runners on the corners with two down. Up came Steve Pearce with an opportunity to finally do some damage, but Owens went up 0-1 with a fastball, then quickly got a ground ball with a changeup to end the threat. Owens would pitch into the eighth, and this time, it was not too much to ask, with eight pitches earning him two ground balls, two outs, and an excellent performance in the books.Tommy Layne picked up the last out of the inning, and Robbie Ross Jr. closed things out, allowing just one hit in the ninth to complete the shutout and the sweep.