Wojciechowski starts 1-hitter as Orioles blank Red Sox 5-0

Sports

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Asher Wojciechowski pitches to a Boston Red Sox batter during the second inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 21, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

BALTIMORE (AP) — It all seemed rather surreal, watching Asher Wojciechowski head into the seventh inning working on a no-hitter.

After all, the 30-year-old journeyman hadn’t won a major league game since 2017, came in with a 6.49 career ERA and was facing the highest-scoring team in the majors.

Alas, Wojciechowski lost his bid to make history when Rafael Devers opened the seventh with a double off the right-field wall. But the right-hander was more than delighted to finish with a shared one-hitter while helping the Baltimore Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox 5-0 Sunday.

After striking out 10 over 7 1/3 innings while completely dominating the defending World Series champions, Wojciechowski wore a huge smile.

“A day like that, when you’re throwing the pitches and they’re doing pretty much exactly what you want them to do, that’s what you dream for as a pitcher,” he said.

It was, without question, the finest performance of his life.

“Just a great day, a great team win,” Wojciechowski said. “Just a lot of fun today.”

After pitching previously for eight different organizations and spending all of last season in the minor leagues, Wojciechowski (1-3) earned his first victory since Aug. 8, 2017, when he beat San Diego as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.

Although he had never worked more than six innings in his previous 14 starts, Wojciechowski was operating without a pitch limit while the no-no was intact.

“It was going to be his moment for as long as he could go,” manager Brandon Hyde said.

Prior to the seventh, the only baserunner against Wojciechowski was Brock Holt, who was hit by a pitch in the third and drew a walk in the sixth.

Wojciechowski got three straight outs after Devers’ hit, then was sent out for the eighth inning. He retired the first batter, issued a walk and was pulled after his 105th pitch .

Many in the crowd of 18,173 — even many of the Boston fans — vigorously applauded his performance as he walked toward the dugout.

“Best outing I’ve ever had in the big leagues,” Wojciechowski said. “It’s something to enjoy, also to look back, build upon and look at as a springboard.”

Paul Fry got the final two outs in the eighth and Mychal Givens worked the ninth to complete the one-hitter and end Boston’s run of 81 games without being blanked. It was also the first time in 11 games the Red Sox failed to hit a home run.

The last-place Orioles took two of three from the Red Sox, who were 8-0-2 in series against Baltimore since September 2017. Boston lost only one of its previous 11 series at Camden Yards, dating back to May 2016.

Facing his former team just eight days after being traded to Boston, Andrew Cashner (9-5) allowed four runs and six hits in six innings to fall to 0-2 with the Red Sox. Trey Mancini hit a solo shot in the first inning and a two-run drive in the third.

“I thought I had really good stuff. I made two mistakes,” Cashner said. “Mancini is a pretty big hitter. He put good swings on those balls.”

Jonathan Villar added a solo shot off Heath Hembree in the eighth.

Now 5-5 since the All-Star break, the defending World Series champions can only hope to generate momentum over the next couple of weeks. Boston’s next 14 games are against the two teams ahead of them in the AL East, the Yankees and Tampa Bay.

“We have a tough schedule coming up,” manager Alex Cora said. “It’s a matter of being ready for it.”

FAREWELL TO KEON

The Orioles designated OF Keon Broxton for assignment after he batted .204 in 37 games since being obtained in a May 22 trade with the Mets. In need of a reliever to fill out a depleted bullpen, Baltimore called up Brandon Kline and removed Broxton from the 25-man roster. “I hate to see Keon go,” Hyde said. “He’s such a weapon defensively and on the bases. I’m sure he’ll get picked up by somebody.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: INF Michael Chavis was not in the starting lineup after leaving with back spasms on Saturday night. “Doing all right,” Chavis said before the game.

Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (knee) will come off the IL on Tuesday to face Arizona on Tuesday night. He missed one start. … C Pedro Severino played for the first time in a week after battling an illness.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: The Red Sox get to cool off under a dome on Monday night when LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (11-4, 4.34 ERA) helps open a three-game series against Rays.

Orioles: A reunion with longtime OF Adam Jones is on tap when Baltimore and RHP Aaron Brooks (2-3, 4.69) take on the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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