Photo credit: Patrick Semansky/AP Images

Rick Porcello has been the anchor of the Red Sox’s rotation all year, and tonight, he put forth his best game of the season, and the most efficient game anyone has pitched all year. It only took him 89 pitches to take care of the Orioles tonight, 65 of which were strikes. That’s the fewest pitches it’s taken anyone to finish out a complete game this year. Porcello never went over 14 pitches per inning, and he allowed four hits while striking out seven dudes.

But that’s only part of what made Porcello’s game so good. The Red Sox pitcher was perfect through the first 11 outs of the game until he hit Manny Machado. Machado took apparent issue with Porcello, who had to remind the Orioles slugger that it makes no sense for him to have plunked Machado with a perfect game still on the table. Rather, he told him, “I’m not trying to fucking hit you, bro.”

Machado scored after Mark trumbo doubled, then stared down Porcello. So Porcello proceeded to strike Machado out on three pitches in the sixth, then fan him on four in the ninth. That’s a pretty good exclamation point to put on a late-season win over a rival in pursuit of your division lead and kick off a critical four-game series.