Orioles storm back to beat Red Sox, 7-5, behind Jordan Westburg's 3-run blast, dominant bullpen

Matt Weyrich, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Baseball

BOSTON — On a day when the attention was all centered on Jackson Holliday making his MLB debut, it was another Orioles first-round draft pick who delivered in the biggest moment.

Jordan Westburg crushed a go-ahead, three-run home run in the seventh inning to lead a dramatic Orioles comeback in their 7-5 win over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night. After falling behind 5-0 to their American League East division rivals, the Orioles scored seven runs in two innings to turn the game on its head and clinch a series victory.

Holliday finished 0 for 4 with his first career RBI on a groundout, but Westburg, the 30th overall pick of the Orioles in 2020, came through with his second clutch home run of the season after his first secured a walk-off victory over the Kansas City Royals on April 1. This blast traveled a Statcast-estimated 432 feet to clear the corner of the Green Monster in left-center field.

The first five innings went about as poorly as they could have for the Orioles (7-4), who didn’t register a hit against Red Sox starter Kutter Crawford until they were 14 batters in. With Cole Irvin on the mound for Baltimore, the Red Sox scored their first run of the game on a pop up that caught Holliday in an awkward spot. Running with two outs in the third, outfielder Jarren Duran scored from first after Holliday missed an over-the-shoulder catch on a ball that landed in shallow right-center.

Boston then came out first-pitch swinging against Irvin in the fourth. First baseman Triston Casas and shortstop Romy Gonzalez each singled on consecutive pitches and eventually scored on a two-run single by catcher Connor Wong. Aided by a series of questionable calls by home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman, the Red Sox put up another two-spot in the fifth on a two-run home run by Casas.


In line with their early-season trend, the Orioles didn’t start stringing hits together until they got to the Red Sox bullpen. Right-hander Isaiah Campbell took over for Crawford in the sixth and the Orioles immediately put two runners in scoring position. First baseman Ryan Mountcastle and center fielder Cedric Mullins hit back-to-back singles and moved to second and third on an error by Red Sox right fielder Tyler O’Neill.

That brought up Colton Cowser, who was coming off a four-RBI day in the Orioles’ series-opening win Tuesday. After the Orioles had already squandered two bases-loaded opportunities, Cowser provided the spark they were looking for with a two-run single to get on the board before eventually scoring on Holliday’s groundout.

The Red Sox couldn’t get out of their own way after that. The Orioles loaded the bases yet again on a single, walk, wild pitch and catcher’s interference before scoring on another wild pitch by reliever Chris Martin to cut the Boston lead to 5-4. After Cowser struck out, Westburg then put the Orioles ahead for good with his blast on a 2-2 pitch over the heart of the plate. He celebrated in the dugout with the return of the homer hose.

Westburg’s swing got Irvin, who carries an 8.10 ERA through two starts, off the hook. The Orioles bullpen then kept the Red Sox from mounting their own comeback with four scoreless frames, including nine strikeouts. Right-hander Mike Baumann struck out the side in the sixth and lefty Keegan Akin set down six of seven over two innings before Craig Kimbrel, pitching at Fenway Park for the first time since winning the World Series with the Red Sox in 2018, locked down the save.

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