BOSTON — Even Rick Porcello, who had an abysmal night, could joke about the first baseman throwing low 90s heat in a scoreless ninth inning.
Mitch Moreland might have a second career as a lefty specialist. He topped out above 92 mph Saturday night at Fenway Park.
“Yeah, he should've started the game tonight,” said Porcello, the Red Sox starter in a 16-3 loss to the Orioles. “I put him in a tough situation. Mitch is playing first base, going out there every day. To put him on the mound like that, I take responsibility for that because I was the one that got us in that spot. It was nice to see him put up a zero.”
Even if Moreland didn’t let on too much, he surely enjoyed it from a personal level. Position players always do.
Moreland worked around two hits in the ninth.
The southpaw had pitched once before, with the Rangers in 2014. He faced three batters and retired all three on 15 pitches.But Friday brought his first strikeout, of Caleb Joseph, who was the first hitter he faced. Joseph waved at a fastball.
Moreland said all the fastballs he threw were two-seamers, save for one cutter. He threw 14 pitches, 10 strikes, and also mixed in curveballs.
“Skip just came up to me and asked if I could pick us up a little and I said sure,” Moreland said. “Hadn’t done it in a while but I was happy to go out there and try it out.”
Moreland pitched in college at Mississippi State, going 5-0 with a 3.31 ERA in 32 2/3 innings in relief.