BALTIMORE — A pair of rain delays caused a combined 93 minutes of delay before the second inning was even completed Tuesday. But Orioles manager Buck Showalter and Red Sox manager John Farrell both opted to leave their starting pitchers in the game despite the long break.
Baltimore's Chris Tillman was good. Boston's Brandon Workman was better.
Workman and the Sox held the Orioles to just two hits and Baltimore fell 1-0 before 24,184 at Camden Yards
"It's one of the tougher decisions I think you have to make as a manager is with rain delays," Showalter said. "We've had some rain delays before that we [then] scored a bunch of runs in. I tend to tip my hat to Workman and their bullpen. They've got some really good people there."
Workman (1-0) was dominant for 6 2-3 innings, his longest career outing. He retired the first 13 Baltimore batters he faced before walking Nelson Cruz with one out in the fifth. But then J.J. Hardy popped up to Pedroia and, in a poor baserunning mistake, Cruz was tagged up at first when Pedroia rifled a throw to Mike Napoli at first.
Ryan Flaherty got the Orioles' first hit when he singled with two outs in the sixth. But Workman then got Nick Markakis to ground out to end the inning.
Workman is facing a six-game suspension, which he will appeal Friday, for throwing at the head of Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria on May 30. For now though, he is pitching well, particularly on Tusday.
The entire Baltimore (32-31) lineup struggled, particularly slugger Chris Davis who was 0 for 3 with three strikeouts. Markakis went 0 for 4, snapping his 14-game hitting streak.
Showalter said he thought Workman's curveball was why the right-hander was so effective. Orioles center fielder Adam Jones agreed.
"He was able to throw it any time he wanted to, he had a good cutter," Jones said.
Tillman (5-3) had his struggles, giving up seven hits and walking three, but limited the Red Sox (29-35) to just one run in six innings.
The lone run came in the third when Napoli dropped in an RBI single to right. The following inning, Tillman surrendered singles to A.J. Pierzynski, Grady Sizemore, and Jonathan Herrera to load the bases with none out.
But Tillman struck out Brock Holt and got Xander Bogaerts to ground into a double play to escape the jam. Tillman gave up no hits in his final two innings of work and allowed just one batter to reach.
Since pitching a complete-game shutout against Kansas City May 16, Tillman has struggled.
Tuesday was only the second time in his last five starts that Tillman allowed less than five runs. It was just the third time during those five starts that he escaped the second inning.
"A little better," Tillman said. "I was able to kind of get into a rhythm there later. ... I was happy with that. Made some bad pitches early, but we were able to work our way out of it."
Ryan Webb pitched a 1-2-3 seventh and Brian Matusz pitched a scoreless eighth and a perfect ninth. Steve Pearce pinch-hit and led off the bottom of the ninth with a single.
Flaherty attempted to bunt Pearce over, but the bunt went right back to Boston closer Koji Uehara, who threw Pearce out at second. Then Uehara struck out Markakis and Manny Machado to pick up his 13th save.
Even though the Orioles have only given up one run in the first two games against the Sox, it was only enough for one win because of the offensive woes Tuesday.
"[Workman] threw the hell out of the ball tonight," Jones said. "Now let's come out tomorrow and get the series."
Reach staff writer Jake Rill at 410-857-7896 or email@example.com.