In Sickness and Health (Red Sox-Orioles; 05.28.24)

Clifford Ray Williams/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

BALTIMORE — Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora wasn’t sure if Brayan Bello was going to answer the bell for his team tonight, a sickness leaving tonight’s scheduled starting pitcher a game-time decision. Even without suffering from a bug, Bello, who did take the ball, quickly saw his temperature rise even more at the sight of the Baltimore Orioles’ offense.

Fortunately for the Red Sox, Bello recovered well enough to keep his team in the game, and the bullpen — along with Rafael Devers — proved to be the panacea needed for the team to leave the ball park with a figurative clean bill of health.

Bello settled down after allowing three runs in the first, allowing no more runs for the next four-plus innings, and was aided by Devers’ four-hit night as Boston defeated the Orioles 8-3 inside Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Tuesday evening. Overall, the Red Sox’s offense pounded out 11 hits and scored two runs in both the first and second inning as they won their first game against the Orioles in five tries this season.

Despite the quick start by Boston, it found itself clinging to a 4-3 lead in the sixth when Bello allowed the first two men to reach and, eventually, led to a bases-loaded, nobody-out jam. In stepped reliever Brennan Bernardino, who walked Ryan Mountcastle to load the bases after Bello allowed a single to Anthony Santander and hit Jordan Westburg with a pitch. Bernardino then weaved his magic, striking out pinch hitter Austin Hays and getting Jorge Mateo to ground into a force out back to the pitcher, with Bernardino throwing home to record the second out.

To cap off the great escape, Bernardino struck out the Orioles best hitter, Gunnar Henderson, on three pitches.

“It was a magnificent job, what [Bernardino] was able to do,” Bello said. “I had to give him his hug and his kiss for the incredible job he did.”

Same could be said for Bello, who was sick for the few days leading up to his start tonight. After the early first-inning hiccup, he pitched into the sixth to earn his team-leading sixth win of the season.

“Back home I ws feeling a little sick, but that wasn’t going to stop me from giving 100 percent today,” Bello said. “I think in that first inning, my body wasn’t really all the way warmed up yet. But after we got past that, I was able to do what I do.”

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Tuesday evening’s game, with photos taken by DC-area photographer Clifford Ray Williams. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 30 pictures in total.

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