The Red Sox have fallen to the Orioles 9-6 in seventeen torturous innings, leaving them swept in Fenway, out of pitchers, and at what may be the low point of the year, if not the decade.
Clay Buchholz was his usual self Sunday, which is to say terrible, allowing a pair of solo shots to J.J. Hardy in the first and third inning to put the Sox behind 2-0 early, and then falling apart completely in the fourth, allowing three more runs on a Robert Andino homer even with the help of some bad baserunning by Matt Wieters costing Baltimore a baserunner earlier.
The Sox would score once in the fourth, and then come all the way back in the bottom of the fifth when Will Middlebrooks stayed back on a hanging curveball and hit an absolute moonshot over the Monster for his first career homer and grand slam.
The teams would trade runs in the eighth, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia first costing the Sox a run with a dropped popup in foul territory and an errant throw to second, and then getting them one on a sacrifice fly to bring Darnell McDonald--pinch-running for David Ortiz--home to score.
The teams would go into extra innings, with each bullpen pitching shutdown inning after shutdown inning. This lasted until the position players came into the game. In the 16th, the Sox nearly walked off on Chris Davis, but had Marlon Byrd thrown out as he tried to score from first on a Mike Aviles double. This would be made all the more tragic when Ryan Sweeney led off the seventeenth with a hit.
By then, however, the game had gotten away from the Sox, as Darnell McDonald took the mound and allowed a pair of runners to reach before surrendering a three-run shot to Adam Jones. With the Sox unable to recover in the bottom half, they fell to 11-16.
Adrian Gonzalez Pressing: An unbelievably bad performance from Adrian Gonzalez today saw the first baseman go 0-for-7, striking out twice (including against Chris Davis in his second inning of work) and leaving eight men on base. The Sox need him to start producing and fast--they didn't get him to go 0-for-7.
Clay Buchholz Out?: After seeing his 8.69 ERA actually spike back up over nine today, Clay Buchholz could well be on the way to the disabled list for a phantom stint to get his head (and presumably something else) straight. With nobody left in the bullpen, now seems like the right time for a move.
Rock Bottom: We had it at 1-5, after the Yankees comeback, and now at 11-16--a worse record than the 2011 team had through this point in the season. The first time that's been true in 2012.