BOSTON - Craig Breslow hadn't started a game in his entire career before Saturday.
That didn't prove to be much of a problem for the left-handed reliever, as he allowed only two hits and two walks while striking struck out two in a scoreless four-inning spot start to set the tone in the Boston Red Sox's 8-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.
"He stepped up in a moment's notice and gave us four quality innings," Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo said. "Just a great team effort - highlighted by Breslow."
Breslow, now in his 10th season, threw 55 pitches in his first career start, which came at the age of 35. That made him the oldest Red Sox pitcher at the time of his first start, edging Scott Atchison, whose debut start with Boston came at the age of 34 years and 75 days in 2010.
"I was pretty nervous," Breslow said, adding that he couldn't shake the nerves until well after he came out of the ballgame. "It was kind of stupid things you never really think of like: where am I supposed to play catch before going to the bullpen? What do I do during the anthem?"
Boston (74-80) used six pitchers in relief of Breslow, and they combined to hold Baltimore (76-78) scoreless on three more hits, three walks, and two strikeouts over the final five innings.
Heath Hembree (2-0) was credited with the victory after pitching a scoreless fifth for Boston.
"You shut a team like the Baltimore Orioles out, those guys were doing something right coming out of the bullpen," Lovullo said.
Red Sox second baseman Josh Rutledge led the way with two RBIs while third baseman Brock Holt and right fielder Mookie Betts each drove in a run.
Baltimore left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (10-8) struck out seven, but took the loss after giving up two runs on five hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings.
"In the fifth and sixth inning, they were starting to foul my (pitches) off," Chen said through a translator. "I kind of lose my calm out there and therefore I lost my command out there and unfortunately I couldn't get it back in time."
Five Orioles batters recorded hits in the shutout loss.
"We just went through a two-game period here where we haven't done much offensively," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I'll be the first to tip my hat to the other team, but we're capable of better."
Holt walked with one out in the fifth to break a string of eight consecutive batters retired by Chen, five of which came via strikeouts.
Rutledge rolled a double down the line in left, allowing Holt to score Boston's first run. An inning later, Holt drove in a run with a single up the middle to put Boston up 2-0.
Rutledge drove in another run on an eighth-inning groundout and Betts tallied his RBI on a ground-rule double later in the inning.
A couple of hard-hit balls by Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts in the seventh and eighth resulted in a pair of two-run fielding errors by Orioles third baseman Manny Machado.
"I don't get involved in that," Showalter said about the scoring decisions. "You've got people (who) do those things that have never done it, so it's fine. They do a good job on the whole."
"Manny would be the first one to tell you that he spoils us at a very high level of play. People expect him to catch everything, and he just about does."
NOTES: Boston earned its ninth shutout victory of the year, doing so back-to-back for the first time since April 23-24, 2011. ... It was the 11th time this season Baltimore was shut out. ... Red Sox 3B Pablo Sandoval (pneumonia) missed his sixth straight game. Sandoval looked better, but was not well enough to play, interim manager Torey Lovullo said. ... Orioles CF Adam Jones (back) missed his fifth game in a row, but was seen running and throwing in the outfield before the game. ... Baltimore RHP Miguel Gonzalez (shoulder) will be activated from the disabled list to start Tuesday. ... Boston 1B Sam Travis was named the team's Minor League Offensive Player of the Year and LHP Williams Jerez was the Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Travis hit .307 with 78 RBIs in 131 games while Jerez was 5-3 with a 2.54 ERA in 41 appearances.