BOSTON (AP) — The way things started out, Kevin Gausman didn’t feel comfortable that he’d have a long outing.
With some advice from catcher Caleb Joseph, he found his groove.
Gausman allowed four singles over 7 2/3 innings, Tim Beckham hit a three-run homer and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox easily for the second straight day, 7-0 on Saturday.
“Early on I was kind of all over the place. Every fastball I threw was kind of riding up and in on a righty,” Gausman said. “Caleb had to tell me after the second inning: ‘We have to start hitting our spots. We’ve gotten through two innings, but to be able to go deep into the game against these guys, that’s what you have to be able to do.'”
It was the third straight win for the Orioles, who pounded Boston 16-3 a night earlier. Jonathan Schoop added a solo homer and posted his 95th RBI, a club record for second basemen, surpassing Roberto Alomar’s 94 in 1996.
The AL East-leading Red Sox dropped their third straight and saw their lead sliced to 3 1/2 games over the second-place New York Yankees, who beat Seattle on Saturday.
Gausman (10-9) struck out five and walked three. Richard Bleier got one out and Darren O’Day retired the final three.
Wearing “Gausy” on his jersey for Players Weekend, Gausman was nasty, mixing a low-to-mid-90s fastball with breaking stuff to limit solid contact.
Eduardo Rodriguez (4-4) gave up five runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking one.
It was Boston’s third straight lopsided loss.
“These last couple games have been rough, but we’ve come back from a lot of games,” Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts said.
The Orioles took control in the second. Mark Trumbo put Baltimore ahead with a single through the shortstop hole. Craig Gentry followed with a bloop RBI single to center before Beckham hit a 93 mph fastball off a billboard above the Green Monster seats after fouling off a few pitches.
“I didn’t want him to get me looking on a fastball again,” Beckham said. “He got me in my first at-bat.”
In his previous start at Fenway Park, Gausman was tossed in the second inning for hitting Xander Bogaerts in the back with a pitch during a testy stretch between the clubs in May.
“The big inning, on a day when Gausman had his good stuff going, that hole was too big to dig out of,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
The only thing that seemed to go wrong for the Orioles was when first baseman Davis stepped on shortstop Beckham’s left foot when the infielders converged for Hanley Ramirez’s popup. Beckham hobbled to the dugout after the inning-ending play and stayed in the game.
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