BOSTON -- Orioles right-hander Dan Straily carried a no-hit bid into the fifth inning and was as good Monday as he was bad in his first two appearances with the team, helping the club secure an 8-1 win over the Boston Red Sox on Patriots' Day at Fenway Park.
Straily, who allowed two home runs both in his debut relief appearance with the Orioles and his first start last week, allowed just two hits and one run as the Orioles used home runs by Dwight Smith Jr. and Chris Davis and a three-hit day by Renato Nunez to leave Boston with a four-game series split.
It all started, though, with Straily, who was told by pitching coach Doug Brocail after he finished his five innings that his performance Monday was far closer to what the Orioles expected when they signed him April 5.
"I thought Dan mixed three pitches really well," manager Brandon Hyde said. "I thought he had a really good changeup today, and a good slider, like usual. But I just thought his pitch mix was awesome. He was totally unpredictable, got a lot of ground balls, got a lot of guys caught out in front, pitched ahead to most hitters. I just thought it was a really nice pitching performance."
"A lot better," Straily said. "Things are starting to come together, but are no means are we satisfied, you know what I mean? It's an ongoing process, and we still hope to do this 28 more times."
Though he walked Rafael Devers with two outs in the second inning, Straily had a 4-0 lead when he finally allowed a hit thanks to a second-inning RBI single by Nunez, a run-scoring single by Villar in the fifth, and Smith's third home run in four starts.
Xander Bogaerts' infield single did the trick on a ball that shortstop Richie Martin slid to collect and threw from his knees behind second base. The second hit, a single down the right-field line by Devers, was with much more authority.
Bogaerts scored on a fielder's choice that resulted in Hyde's ejection after he believed it should have been a double play and replay review didn't agree. But Straily limited the damage from that lost out to end the inning with just one run in. He lowered his ERA from 19.29 to 10.24.
Straily said the performance overall was more in line with what he's expected of himself throughout his big league career, though he and catcher Jesus Sucre liked his change-up so much in the pregame bullpen that they threw far more than the game plan called for against a heavily right-handed Red Sox lineup. He got seven swinging strikes, including his strikeout of Steve Pearce, and four in-play outs on the pitch.
He said the effectiveness of his day is typically his expectation, even if the pitch-mix varied from his norm a bit.