Four the fourth time this year, the Red Sox had a chance to breach the .500 mark. For the fourth time this year, they failed, managing almost nothing against a dominant Brian Matusz as they fell to 21-22 on the season.
While Brian Matusz had spent much of the season disappointing, entering the game with an ERA of 5.36, the young southpaw was a completely different man against the Red Sox. After retiring the side in order in both the first and second innings, Matusz would allow a single to Adrian Gonzalez and walk Jarrod Saltalamacchia before getting Daniel Nava looking to end the inning.
Those would be half of the Sox batters to reach base all game. Meanwhile, the Orioles pushed two runs across off of Felix Doubront in the second. A home run from Steve Tolleson provided the scoring for Baltimore as Boston's starter struggled through the earlier innings.
Doubront would settle down in the second half of his outing, finishing the game with nine strikeouts in six innings of work and allowing no more runs, while Kevin Youkilis made his return a successful one by taking Matusz deep in the fourth inning on a high fastball over the outside part of the plate.
The homer brought the Red Sox within one, but that was as close as they would get, as Matusz wouldn't allow another ball to so much as reach the outfield. The Orioles' bullpen managed to provide much the same level of production while Matt Albers was busy giving up another two-run shot to the Orioles, leaving the Sox down 4-1.
Adrian Gonzalez would finally manage to get another ball out of the infield in the ninth, but even his slicing liner managed to find a glove in left field, giving the Orioles the final out they needed to end the game.
|Final - 5.22.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Boston Red Sox||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||0|
|WP: Brian Matusz (4 - 4)
SV: Jim Johnson (16)
LP: Felix Doubront (4 - 2)