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Alex Cobb dominates, Orioles bats wake up in 13-1 win over Red Sox

Alex Cobb finished this season the way he started it — by carving up the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

In between, he put himself on the path to being the kind of pitcher who can do that for an entire season when he returns in 2021 for the final year of his four-year, $57 million contract.

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Cobb’s effort in the Orioles' 13-1 win over the Red Sox on Thursday night to avoid a series sweep was the seventh of his 10 starts in which he allowed two earned runs or fewer and ended a season devoid of injury for the first time in his three seasons with the Orioles.

“That was a veteran start,” manager Brandon Hyde said.

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Cobb was pitching with a lead for most of the game, as the Orioles (24-33) took a 3-0 advantage in the second inning and, uncharacteristically, built on it.

That allowed the veteran right-hander to use his fabled fastball-splitter combination to pitch seven innings of six-hit, one-run ball to end the season with a 4.30 ERA — his best since signing as a free agent with the Orioles ahead of the 2018 season.

“Coming off of the [hip] surgery year last year, my goal was to get feeling back to normal this year,” Cobb said. “There were some ups and downs on that path, but I think I finally found it at some point last game with the direction I need to be in, and I was able to be able to carry it into this game so I have something concrete to bring into the offseason to work on and to come into the season next year strong.”

Said Hyde: “He’s proven health this year. That’s huge. Last year was really hard for him being injured all year long and being able to come in this year to spring training and feel good and prove health through this whole time, I know he’s excited about that — and to make this start, his last start of the year, a real quality one is nice for him to go into the offseason knowing that he’s really throwing the ball well.”

Everybody hits

An Orioles offense that had eight runs in its past five games broke out with a 13-run run, 18-hit barrage against starter Martin Pérez and the Red Sox bullpen.

Rio Ruiz, who had three hits, had a run-scoring single in the second inning to open the Orioles' account before Cedric Mullins scored two with a double.

Ramón Urías, who has hit well since being recalled from the Bowie site earlier this week, had a ground-rule double in the third inning to drive in his first career run. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Hanser Alberto, and José Iglesias' second home run of the season made it 6-0.

Ruiz and Urías both drove in runs in the fifth inning, and Pat Valaika homered in the seventh.

Alberto was hit on the groin by a pitch, went to second on a walk, and scored on a single by Ryan Mountcastle in the eighth inning. With infielder Tzu-Wei Lin pitching in the ninth, Austin Hays homered for his third hit of the game, and Alberto had a two-run double.

Every Orioles starter had at least one hit, with Urías and Valaika also collecting three apiece.

“We really swung the bat well,” Hyde said.

Hess up, Kremer out

With right-hander Dean Kremer’s season over after his start Wednesday, the Orioles optioned him back to the Bowie site and recalled reliever David Hess from the taxi squad.

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Manager Brandon Hyde said the move was made for pitching depth purposes with Kremer not able to pitch again. It was their third pitcher added this week after Shawn Armstrong came off the injured list Tuesday to replace Dillon Tate (pinky finger sprain) and Branden Kline coming off to replace Evan Phillips (elbow).

Armstrong pitched a scoreless eighth inning in his return to the mound Thursday, giving way to Travis Lakins Sr. for the ninth inning.

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