BOSTON — Ubaldo Jimenez couldn't believe he was ejected. Neither could his manager. Or his catcher.
Or, Baltimore skipper Buck Showalter said, most of the fans in Fenway Park.
"I would think about 30 (thousand) to 40,000 people," he said. "Something like that to impact the game the way that much, it's sad that it did."
The Red Sox beat the Orioles 3-2 Friday night on Xander Bogaerts' run-scoring bloop single in the ninth inning. But none of Boston's four hits came in the 3 2-3 innings before Jimenez was ejected for hitting Pablo Sandoval in the back of his right shoulder.
"I was shocked," Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph said. "I think what was deemed on purpose just wasn't on purpose this time."
Sandoval said he didn't think Jimenez was throwing at him and Boston manager John Farrell said the ejection surprised him.
Plate umpire Jordan Baker ejected the pitcher quickly.
"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. Jimenez said Baker should have issued a warning if he thought the pitch was in retaliation for that play.
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.
"Hits were hard to come by," Farrell said.
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.
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.
For Baltimore, Adam Jones extended his hitting streak to seven games and Everth Cabrera increased his to four. But Manny Machado's ended at four.
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 sustained 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 on the foot by a pitch from Stephen Strasburg in an 8-7 win over Washington. He left that game in the top of the sixth and missed Wednesday's game. 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.
All content copyright ©2015 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.