On a frustrating night in Fenway Park, the Sox fell to their third straight loss, all the way back down to a .500 mark that it seemed like they had finally left behind.
For the first five innings, it was hard to imagine the Orioles would ever put up a run against the dominant Josh Beckett. With pinpoint accuracy on a low-mid 90s fastball and good command of his off speed stuff, Beckett gave up almost nothing in the way of hard contact all night. He retired the first nine batters he faced, and had faced the minimum through the first five innings, recording a double play to erase the one ground ball single the Orioles had managed.
Wei-Yin Chen, on the other hand, was hardly dealing on the mound. The Sox managed to manufacture one run in the third, but frankly should have had more as they hit hard smashes to all fields. Unfortunately, balls would stay up just enough, or go howling directly to a fielder time and again, resulting in outs where there could easily have been hits.
If things had simply stayed this way, then the Sox could have enjoyed a quiet 1-0 win. Instead, however, the luck actively swung the other way, with the Orioles' ground balls finding singles where the Red Sox' line drives found none. Two got through without any great power behind them to start the sixth inning before Beckett jammed Robert Andino with a cutter in on the hands. With his luck going badly, however, what could easily have been a pop-up ended up being a bloop single, and just like that the go-ahead run was on third, scoring on a fielder's choice.
The Sox would have their chance to tie the game up in the seventh inning, when they picked up a pair of leadoff baserunners. A sacrifice bunt moved both over into scoring position, but Marlon Byrd provided one of the more disappointing at bats of the year, not so much as put the ball in play with the tying run just 90 feet away. He may well have earned his ticket out of Boston with that particular failure. Mike Aviles hit a pop-up behind first to end the inning.
It's one of the more disappointing losses possible for this team. From three games over .500, they now sit right back on the line thanks to a game where they pretty clearly outplayed their opposition. Sometimes, however, baseball does not provide the "correct" winner. Today, the Orioles had things go their way, and the Red Sox suffered because of it
|Final - 6.6.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Boston Red Sox||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||7||0|
|WP: Wei-Yin Chen (5 - 2)
SV: Jim Johnson (18)
LP: Josh Beckett (4 - 6)