The Red Sox managed just four hits and still won. They might have had even fewer if Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez hadn’t been ejected.
Xander Bogaerts blooped a winning single in the ninth and Boston beat Baltimore 3-2 Friday night. It was Bogaerts’ second hit of the game and boosted his batting average to .382, best among Boston’s regulars.
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When you’re going good, even lightly hit balls drop in.
"Yeah, because when you’re going bad, you don’t get anything," Bogaerts said.
Jimenez was long gone by then after allowing no hits in 3 2/3 innings, following his other start of the year in which he gave up one hit in seven scoreless innings. Plate umpire Jordan Baker ejected him quickly after he hit Pablo Sandoval in the right shoulder.
"It was my first one. I was shocked," Jimenez said. "He’s a good hitter and I’m trying to go inside. "
In the second, Sandoval took out second baseman Jonathan Schoop with a hard slide on a force play. Sandoval missed Boston’s previous game Wednesday, a day after bruising his left foot when he was hit by a pitch.
"I slide hard to the base. It’s nothing wrong with that," said Sandoval, who didn’t think Jimenez was trying to hit him.
Baltimore manager Buck Showalter agreed.
"Every time somebody slides hard, that’s what you’re supposed to do," he said. "Nobody gets mad."
Mike Napoli began the ninth with a walk from Brian Matusz (0-1) and Daniel Nava sacrificed. Tommy Hunter relieved, and Bogaerts hit a ball over Schoop and in front of right fielder Travis Snider.
Napoli, a smart runner with below-average speed, got a good jump and easily beat the throw home on Boston’s fourth hit of the game.
"He’s one of our best base runners," Boston manager John Farrell said.
Koji Uehara (1-0) struck out two in a perfect ninth, completing a strong performance by a bullpen that allowed one of Baltimore’s five hits.
The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Snider singled, took third on a single by Adam Jones and scored on a double-play grounder by Chris Davis.
Caleb Joseph led off the fourth with his first homer of the year just inside the right field foul pole for a 2-0 lead. Shane Victorino hit his left side hard against the wall trying to catch it. He stayed in the game before Nava pinch hit for him in the sixth, but Farrell said Victorino wasn’t hurt.
The Red Sox tied it in the fifth when Bogaerts singled off Kevin Gausman for their first hit and Ryan Hanigan hit his first homer.
Boston’s Joe Kelly gave up two runs and four hits and left with two outs in the sixth after throwing 118 pitches, the most in the majors this season. The previous high was 113 by Jeff Samardzija with the Chicago White Sox against Minnesota on April 11.
Kelly showed good endurance despite having started the season on the disabled list with a right biceps strain. He threw two fewer pitches than his career high.
"They’re a good-hitting team and they were fouling off some pitches," he said. "They put together some pretty tough at bats."
Orioles: Shortstop J.J. Hardy could begin a rehab assignment next week. Manager Buck Showalter said he’s hoping for that as Hardy comes back from a left shoulder injury he suffered on March 27. Hardy took ground balls at Double-A Bowie on Friday. He also hit and threw after taking Thursday off.
Red Sox: 3B Sandoval was hurt Tuesday night when he was hit by a pitch from Stephen Strasburg in an 8-7 win over Washington. He left that game in the top of the sixth. The Red Sox were off Thursday.
Orioles: RH Chris Tillman (1-1, 3.86 ERA) makes his third start of the season Saturday in the second game of the four-game series.
Red Sox: RH Clay Buchholz (1-1, 7.84) pitches his first game at Fenway Park this season after allowing 10 runs in 3 1/3 innings in a 14-4 loss to the New York Yankees. In Boston’s first game of the season, he gave up three hits in seven scoreless innings in an 8-0 win at Philadelphia.