Orioles 6, Red Sox 5
The Red Sox have lost again--that makes 14 times in 18 games--but what makes this one worse than so many of the others is how incredibly winnable it was.
In fact, you could even say that the Red Sox didn't strictly lose this one.
The controversy came only well after the Sox had allowed the Orioles to build a lead, and then chipped slowly away at it. Kyle Weiland received the start on the mound for Boston, and much like in his last start, was struck by defensive disaster after throwing a pair of 1-2-3 innings to start the game.
This time the incompetence came from Darnell McDonald, getting the start in left for a stiff-necked Carl Crawford. The first fly ball of the third inning went out to left, and Darnell McDonald promptly lost it in the sun, allowing it to drop in for a hit. In the very next at bat, the ball again found its way to left field, where Darnell McDonald ran it down...and let it clank off his bat. Just like that, and Baltimore had two men on and one down when the inning should have been over. To McDonald's "credit," he could not entirely be expected to make a play on the two-run double off the scoreboard that followed, but both runs are firmly in his name.
If Weiland's troubles had ended there, all would have been well-and-good. Instead, the spot starting prospect proceeded to give up three bombs over the next two innings, allowing Baltimore to increase their scoring tally to six runs on the day.
The Red Sox offense, however, was not going to go down without a fight. McDonald made up for one of his errors with a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the third, and a two-out triple from Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the fourth gave the Sox a second run.
Here's where we hit our controversy.
The fifth inning proved the most productive yet for the Red Sox. A walk for Marco Scutaro, a double for Adrian Gonzalez, and a triple for Dustin Pedroia had the Sox within two runs. Up stepped David Ortiz. Swinging at the first pitch, Papi planted a ball off the wall in right field, clearly on or past the foul line. It should have been a fifth run, instead it was ruled a foul not just by one umpire, but by a conference of all four. With David Ortiz flying out to end the inning, however, the Sox were left with just four.
The Sox would score once more in the game, and thanks to some nifty escape acts from Alfredo Aceves, the Orioles would be left at six. The final score: 6-5, separated by one run that should have scored.
Three For The Road
Or, rather, three to blame.
Three Homers For Weiland
He's being asked to pitch in a role he shouldn't be, but Kyle Weiland can't just give up three homers. The first time through, Weiland was killing it, striking out four of the first six batters he faced using some impressive breaking stuff. The second time through, and he was absolutely destroyed, falling behind time and again and leaving sliders over the plate. It's just not good enough.
Two Botches For McDonald
He was only charged with one error, but it definitely should have been two. While before the game I was hoping that Crawford being out wouldn't mean Conor Jackson in left, at this point I'm glad it does. Every time McDonald goes out there and gives some inkling that he's ready to be a decent backup again, he ruins it by pulling college-level stuff like this.
One Huge Mistake For The Umpires
If Ortiz' hit is called fair, this is a tie game. Simple as that.
Up Next -- Monday, 7:10 p.m. | John Lackey (12-12, 6.19 ERA) vs. Brian Matusz (1-7, 9.84 ERA)
If they can't win this one, then there's no hope.