‘Outstanding’ Eovaldi fires first complete game

BOSTON — In the first 210 career starts of Nathan Eovaldi ‘s career, there was one common thread: He had never gone the distance.

Give the veteran fireballer credit for his timing, finally racking up his first career complete game in start No. 211 to begin Saturday’s day-night doubleheader against the Orioles.

In leading the Red Sox to a 5-3 victory in the opener, Eovaldi gave a spent bullpen nine innings off on a day he knew there would be at least another nine innings to cover.

Not only that, but his performance came on the heels of a Friday night meltdown that saw the bullpen turn an 8-2 lead after six innings into a 12-8 loss.

“It definitely meant a lot to me, especially with how much we’ve been using the bullpen lately and how much they’ve been throwing,” said Eovaldi. “To be able to come in today, especially with the doubleheader, and [manager Alex Cora] trusting me to go out there and finish the game, it means a lot to me.”

It meant every bit as much to Cora, who is in a bit of a scramble to cover innings during a stretch in which the Red Sox are playing 10 games in nine days.

Eovaldi completed one of the most satisfying regular-season performances of his career by inducing a double play — the moment pitching coach Dave Bush informed Cora it was indeed the right-hander’s first complete…

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