Villar slam, Means’ pitching lifts Orioles past Red Sox 4-1
BALTIMORE — Jonathan Villar hit a grand slam, John Means handcuffed Boston’s torrid offense over seven innings and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Red Sox 4-1 Monday night.
Villar connected in the second inning off Josh Smith (0-1), who was making his first start with Boston. The drive came after Villar was robbed of a first-inning double when a fan reached over the 7-foot wall and interfered with left fielder J.D. Martinez’s effort to make a catch.
Villar’s second career slam was more than enough support for Means (4-3), who allowed one run and three hits, striking out four and walking none. Making his fifth career start and 10th appearance, the lefty shut down a power-laden lineup that scored 30 runs in a three-game weekend sweep of the White Sox.
After Paul Fry got two outs in the eighth, Mychal Givens completed the three-hitter to earn his fourth save.
Christian Vázquez led off the fifth with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Eduardo Núnez for Boston’s only run. After winning six of seven, the Red Sox (17-19) were trying to get to .500 for the first time since March 29, when they were 1-1.
Boston’s streak of six consecutive games with a home run ended. The Red Sox clubbed a dozen long balls in that span and led the majors with 10 in May.
Earlier in the day, Boston placed lefty David Price on the 10-day injured list with tendinitis in his pitching elbow. Although the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner has a history of elbow problems, he insisted, “This is nothing.”
Smith gave up four runs and five hits in 3 1/3 innings. Signed as a minor league free agent last October, Smith pitched previously for Cincinnati and Oakland.
In the second inning, Smith gave up two singles and a walk to load the bases. After notching two straight strikeouts, the right-hander served up a curveball that Villar put well over the center-field wall.
Boston’s Mookie Betts went 0 for 4, ending his streak of reaching base in 28 successive games against Baltimore. … Red Sox DH Rafael Devers’ career-high run of reaching base in 19 straight games ended with an 0-for-3 outing. … Boston was 11-1 in its last 12 games at Camden Yards.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia (knee) will continue his rehab assignment by playing in three straight games for Double-A Portland beginning Tuesday, manager Alex Cora said. … Utility player Brock Holt (shoulder) could resume his rehabilitation assignment this weekend. He was placed on the IL with a scratched cornea but developed a sore shoulder while playing for Triple-A Pawtucket late last month.
Orioles: LHP Richard Bleier (shoulder tendinitis) will pitch for Class A Frederick on Tuesday. “We’re happy with the progress he’s making,” manager Brandon Hyde said.
Red Sox: Hector Velázquez (0-2, 3.72 ERA) will start Tuesday night in place of Price. It will be his 11th appearance, the fifth as a starter.
Orioles: David Hess (1-4, 5.34) seeks his first win since April 1. He’s lost four of his last five starts.