Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Villar plated the only runs for his squad in a win against the Boston Red Sox on Monday in Baltimore. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo
May 7 (UPI) -- Second baseman Jonathan Villar blasted a second-inning grand slam to lead the Baltimore Orioles over the Boston Red Sox.
The bases-loaded homer was enough for a 4-1 win Monday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Boston and Baltimore were scoreless after the first inning. Orioles starter John Means also got out of the second inning unblemished, before handing the game to the Baltimore bats.
Rio Ruiz led off the bottom half of the inning with a single. Stevie Wilkerson also followed with a single, before Red Sox starter Josh Smith walked Chris Davis. Smith struck out Pedro Severino and Richie Martin in the next two at-bats and appeared to be headed out of trouble, before Villar stepped into the box.
The exchange lasted for just one offering. Smith tossed in a 77.9-mph curveball and Villar smashed the pitch to deep center field, clearing the outfield fence for a 407-foot long ball. Villar's blast had a launch angle of 27 degrees and an exit velocity of 100 mph, according to Statcast.
"I saw that guy [Smith] threw too many fastballs," Villar told MASN. "I was waiting for that pitch, a breaking ball there."
Means went on to spin a gem for Baltimore, allowing just three hits and one run in seven innings to pick up his fourth win of the season. Means also tossed four strikeouts, while not issuing any walks.
Boston scored its only run on a sacrifice fly from Eduardo Nunez in the top of the fifth frame, plating Christian Vazquez.
Villar was 1-for-4 with four RBIs, a run scored and a strikeout in the win. Ruiz and Wilkerson each had two hits for Baltimore. Vazquez was the only Boston player with multiple hits in the loss.
The Orioles host the Red Sox in Game 2 of the American League East series at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday in Baltimore.