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The Red Sox made good on an excellent start from Felix Doubront, taking a close 2-1 game with a late rally and a tense ninth inning save from Andrew Bailey
The game started as expected for Felix Doubront. While the lefty has struggled to keep runs off the board for the last couple of months, his difficulties have always come with a good few pitches on his arm, usually around 50. Giving up just two walks through his first three innings (and 52 pitches), the challenge for Doubront was to make it through the middle innings.
The fourth, surprisingly, was the exact opposite of a tough inning. 12 pitches would get Doubront through the frame, with three strikeouts to his name besides. The Sox rewarded him by pushing across a run in the bottom of the inning when Robert Andino threw wide of first on a double play ball that could have ended the inning.
The fifth, unfortunately, is where he would run into trouble, putting runners on second and third before recording an out. A bloop single behind second base would be enough to get one run in, but Doubront managed to bounce back with style, striking out two and getting a ground ball to end the inning with the tie intact.
Doubront would finish the game with eleven strikeouts in seven strong innings of work, but it wouldn't be until after Junichi Tazawa worked a clean eighth that the Sox managed to take the lead. It happened quickly against Luis Ayala in the bottom half of the inning. Dustin Pedroia started it by hitting a double past first base, and Cody Ross finished it by hitting a high fly ball to left that didn't quite get out, but ended up scraping the wall, and that was enough. Pedroia came in to score, and the Sox went up 2-1.
Andrew Bailey nearly made a mess of things in the ninth. Allowing a one-out single to Mark Reynolds, Bailey came up against a pinch-hitting Jim Thome and was saved the run only thanks to the fact that Thome's double to right jumped up into the seats, holding Reynolds at third. The Sox elected to give up the intentional walk to Chris Davis, and it paid off when Manny Machado's ground ball ended with a force out at home. With two outs, Bailey got ahead of Ryan Flaherty 1-2, and then spotted the outside corner with a 96 MPH fastball to end the inning and the game.
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|WP: Junichi Tazawa (1 - 1)
SV: Andrew Bailey (6)
LP: Luis Ayala (5 - 5)
The Red Sox can only hope to dodge the sweep as they take on the Baltimore Orioles in Fenway Park.
Red Sox 2, Orioles 1, End 8th -- And with just one inning left, the Red Sox have taken a 2-1 lead. The run comes without even a single out in the inning, as Dustin Pedroia doubles past first off of Luis Ayala, and Cody Ross scrapes the wall in left for an RBI double of his own. Brian Matusz and Dylan Bundy manage to strand Ross, but the damage has been done.
Red Sox 1, Orioles 1, Mid 8th -- It's a clean 1-2-3 inning for Junichi Tazawa, but with zero strikeouts rather than his customary two, not what we've come to expect. If he doesn't watch out, he may end up giving up a single at some point. Maybe. Possibly.
Red Sox 1, Orioles 1, End 7th -- Manny Machado makes an amazing play to rob Pedro Ciriaco of a potential ground ball double down the left field line, and then gets to his feet and fires to first to end the inning besides. Had that gotten through, Scott Podsednik may have been able to score from first.
Red Sox 1, Orioles 1, Mid 7th -- A rare seventh-inning appearance for Felix Doubront goes well, as the starter wraps up his night by working around a one-out single from Chris Davis, finishing off the frame by striking out Robert Andino for the third time today.
Red Sox 1, Orioles 1, End 6th -- James Loney singles and even manages to tag up and take second on a long fly ball, but that's all the Sox get in another scoreless inning from Chris Tillman.
Red Sox 1, Orioles 1, Mid 6th -- For the first time in two months, Felix Doubront is enjoying a legitimately good start. Having survived his bad inning, Doubront goes back to his old 1-2-3 ways, and the strikeout that ends it is his tenth of the day--a career high.
Red Sox 1, Orioles 1, End 5th -- Another 1-2-3 frame for Chris Tillman. But for an error, the Sox are still scoreless against him.
Red Sox 1, Orioles 1, Mid 5th -- Doubront's meltdown seems to have come one inning late. He also seems to have survived it. Letting runners reach second and third on a Lew Ford single and Chris Davis wall ball double, Doubront has the first run come in on a bloop single back of second base. He does manage an impressive recovery, however, striking out the next two batters and getting a ground ball to keep the runner at third from scoring despite having three outs to work with.
Red Sox 1, Orioles 0, End 4th -- The Sox reward Doubront for his resiliency with a run in the bottom of the fourth. The score comes thanks to a couple of leadoff baserunners in the form of Cody Ross (single) and James Loney (walk). The Sox don't exactly take the best advantage of the situation, but manage to push the run across when Robert Andino throws away a prime double play ball that would have ended the inning.
Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, Mid 4th -- Far from the usual meltdown suffered by Doubront right around this point, the lefty has a tremendous fourth. He only needs 12 pitches to get through the frame, and what's more, he struck out the side in order! Not exactly par for the course for Doubront. Perhaps he's actually found some momentum to build on?
Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, End 3rd -- 1-2-3 go the Sox in the third. Tillman seems to be up to the task of matching Doubront zero-for-zero while the Boston lefty can hold out against the Orioles lineup.
Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, Mid 3rd -- Another walk in the third means this is taking on the look of a typical Felix Doubront start. If it turns out continuing down that path, the Sox will have to watch out for a meltdown in the coming frames--his pitch count is already up over 50.
Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, End 2nd -- The Sox luck into a situation with some good potential when a fly ball from Jarrod Saltalamacchia drops in front of Adam Jones, who seemed to lose it in the sun, for a leadoff double. But they do not take advantage, with the bottom of the order going 1-2-3 after to end the inning.
Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, Mid 2nd -- Doubront gives up his first baserunner on a walk to Lew Ford, but it comes after two strikeouts and before a routine fly ball, giving the Sox another scoreless inning.
Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, End 1st -- The Sox also threaten in the first, but do so by getting men on base rather than just missing out on the long ball. Solid contact from Scott Podsednik and Dustin Pedroia get the Sox two men on with one out, but Cody Ross goes down swinging and James Loney grounds out to end the threat.
Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, Mid 1st -- Felix Doubront is through a 1-2-3 first, but he's got Cody Ross to thank for that. With two outs in the inning, Adam Jones hit a long drive to right, which Cody Ross was able to pick out of the air at the wall, banging himself up a bit in the process. It might have been a homer but for Ross' intervention.
The Red Sox will try to dodge the home sweep at the hands of the Orioles as they send Felix Doubront to the mound against Chris Tillman. First pitch is at 1:35 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.
At first, it seemed like Jacoby Ellsbury was ready to make his return to the starting lineup for the first time in four days. Now, however, a new lineup is out, and so is Ellsbury, with Scott Podsednik taking over his duties in center field. Podsednik and Ciriaco will form the makeshift leadoff combination for the Sox, leaving Dustin Pedroia and Cody Ross as the 3-4.
The Orioles, meanwhile, will be without Jim Thome just one day after he made his return from a lengthy DL stint.
Boston Red Sox (68-85)
The Orioles took a 9-6 win over the Boston Red Sox in 12 innings, with Alfredo Aceves once again to blame for the bullpen's failure.
While Aaron Cook managed to avoid a total meltdown, he struggled early and struggled late, leaving the Red Sox constantly playing catchup. It was a leadoff walk and stolen base that put the Orioles in position to score in the first on a couple of groundouts, and while the Sox managed to get back into a tie thanks to fly balls to right field from Dustin Pedroia and Ryan Lavarnway, Cook went right back to work in the second.
The Sox were lucky to escape with just one run coming in in the second. Singles from Chris Davis and Manny Machado scored that one, and the Orioles would end up leaving two men on base thanks to some loud outs. Cook would finally get his first scoreless frame in the third thanks to a double play, but allowed a leadoff shot to Mark Reynolds in the fourth.
Danny Valencia would bring the Sox right back to 3-3 in the bottom half of the inning, slugging a two-run shot about a mile over the Monster, but the tie would only last a short while. Giving up a pair of one-out hits, Cook was chased from the game in the sixth. Rich Hill came on and quickly gave up a big triple to Ryan Flaherty, scoring both runs and making it 5-3, though Clayton Mortensen was able to keep the runner scoring from third.
The Orioles would build their lead to 6-3 in the seventh on an Adam Jones homer against Mortensen, but then let Boston close the gap in the bottom of the inning. The Sox got a leadoff double from Scott Podsednik and walk from Pedro Ciriaco, and then had both Orioles middle infielders come together at second to bungle a ground ball that could have been two outs but ended up as zero. Two ground balls would bring two runs home, cutting the lead to just the one.
Said lead would disappear completely come the eighth. Pedro Stop allowed a two-out double to Daniel Nava, and Nate McLouth misplayed a ball at the wall in left, giving Scott Podsednik another double and making it 6-6.
The tie would hold into extras, with Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Bailey, and Mark Melancon holding down the fort for the Red Sox. But then it came time for Alfredo Aceves to take the mound, and once that happened, the ending was written. Adam Jones led off the inning with a double to the wall in left, and then quickly scored when Jim Thome, 0-for-5 in his return game, put a ball in the right field stands on a bounce to make it 7-6. The Orioles would provide two more runs of insurance before it was over, but with Jim Johnson in to pitch an easy bottom half, they didn't need it.
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|Boston Red Sox||1||0||0||2||0||0||2||1||0||0||0||0||6|
Game 2 between the Red Sox and Orioles is about to get underway. We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Red Sox 6, Orioles 6, End 11th -- Tommy Hunter gets past Dustin Pedroia and Cody Ross for the Orioles. That's twice the Sox have failed to make use of the best part of their lineup in a potential walkoff situation.
Red Sox 6, Orioles 6, Mid 11th -- The Sox manage to survive a Mark Melancon inning, which is more than can usually be said.
Red Sox 6, Orioles 6, End 10th -- Nohing doing this time, though. The Sox do manage to get two baserunners, but consistent success from the bottom of the lineup is hard to find, and Scott Podsednik strikes out swinging to end the frame.
Red Sox 6, Orioles 6, Mid 10th -- Andrew Bailey gets his three outs inshort order. There's not a ton of quality left in the bullpen after he's done, though--mainly Scott Atchison--so the Sox need to get to work.
Red Sox 6, Orioles 6, End 9th -- The best Boston has to offer go in order, and we're headed to the tenth.
Red Sox 6, Orioles 6, Mid 9th -- Junichi Tazawa works a 1-2-3 ninth with, of course, his customary two strikeouts. Either the Sox will walk off with their 2-through-4 hitting in the ninth, or we'll be headed to extra innings.
Red Sox 6, Orioles 6, End 8th -- And with one out left to them in the eighth, the Red Sox tie it up. The rally takes just two at bats, with Daniel Nava starting it off with a double off Pedro Strop, and Scott Podsednik finishing it with another, though his is thanks to some dodgy defense by Nate McLouth at the wall. Just like that, it's 6-6.
Orioles 6, Red Sox 5, Mid 8th -- The Orioles can't respond to Boston's rally, leaving their cushion thin as Craig Breslow enjoys a 1-2-3 eighth.
Orioles 6, Red Sox 5, End 7th -- The Orioles do their best to give the lead away, but the Sox don't manage to take full advantage. After a Scott Podsednik double, Pedro Ciriaco draws a rare walk, and then two Orioles come together at second base trying to record a double play on a Dustin Pedroia ground ball. They get in eachother's way, and get nothing instead, allowing the bases to be loaded. A couple of ground balls is all they manage, though, bringing in a pair of runs from third with the Sox at least managing to stay out of double plays.
Orioles 6, Red Sox 3, Mid 7th -- Clayton Mortensen gives up a huge shot to Adam Jones to start the inning, putting the Orioles up by three even if he does manage to strike out the side around a couple walks (one intentional) afterwards.
Orioles 5, Red Sox 3, End 6th -- Jake Arrieta replaces Randy Wolf on the mound and keeps the Sox in check with a 1-2-3 seventh--exactly what a team that's just taken the lead needs.
Orioles 5, Red Sox 3, Mid 6th -- Aaron Cook runs out of gas with one out in the inning, surrendering a single and double to Chris Davis and Manny Machado, putting two men in scoring position. The Sox call on Rich Hill to save the tie, but he can't get the job done, allowing a long fly ball to Ryan Flaherty that gets all the way to the center field wall for a two-run triple. While Clayton Mortensen manages to keep Flaherty from scoring, the damage is already done.
Red Sox 3, Orioles 3, End 5th -- Randy Wolf has no such problem, with the middle of Boston's lineup going down 1-2-3.
Red Sox 3, Orioles 3, Mid 5th -- Aaron Cook still can't get through a completely clean inning, with a ground rule double stopping him one out away.
Red Sox 3, Orioles 3, End 4th -- With Mike Aviles already on base, Danny Valencia makes Mark Reynold's bomb look like child's play, taking a hanging curveball and clearing the Monster by a mile. That's one fly ball, and one Orioles lead, both gone.
Orioles 3, Red Sox 1, Mid 4th -- A sinker left belt-high and inside to Mark Reynolds is a recipe for disaster, and sure enough the Orioles infielder takes full advantage, blasting a long fly ball off the Triple-A sign over the Monster seats to make it 3-1, Orioles.
Orioles 2, Red Sox 1, End 3rd -- The Red Sox threaten, and would've scored had Pedro Ciriaco not been caught stealing after a leadoff single. A walk and an error from Manny Machado manage to put two more runners on for the Red Sox, but nobody manages to come across thanks to the wasted opportunity from Ciriaco.
Orioles 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 3rd -- Aaron Cook is much more true-to-form this time. One single erased by the double play ball that follows it, courtesy of a nice bit of defense from Dustin Pedroia, who steps on second and then makes a leaping throw to first to turn two.
Orioles 2, Red Sox 1, End 2nd -- Randy Wolf has a relatively easy time of things in the second. While he offers up a walk to Daniel Nava, it comes in front of Scott Podsednik, who grounds out to second to make it a scoreless inning of work for Wolf.
Orioles 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 2nd -- The Sox are back behind, but they can consider themselves lucky that it's just by one. After a Chris Davis single, Aaron Cook let him make his way to second by throwing the ball away trying to keep Davis--he of the one steal in four attempts--close at first. Manny Machado singles up the middle, and with Scott Podsednik practically rolling the ball home, the run came in to score. The Orioles would end up drawing another walk, but stranded both runners to keep the lead to just one.
Red Sox 1, Orioles 1, End 1st -- The Sox respond immediately to tie the game in the bottom of the first. Dustin Pedroia, who finally broke out of a long slump last night, keeps his momentum going by dropping a ground rule double into right field and then the stands. Cody Ross can only fly out to left, but Ryan Lavarnway comes through in the cleanup spot, knocking a base hit to right to score the run from second.
Orioles 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 1st -- Not a good sign for Aaron Cook: the leadoff walk. As a guy who relies on control and ground balls, giving up a free pass to Nate McLouth is not exactly high on the man's agenda. Unfortunately, that's how the game does start, and McLouth quickly steals second, is moved to third with a ground ball, and then brought home with another to give the Orioles the early lead.
The Red Sox will look to even their series against the Orioles up at one game a piece as they send Aaron Cook to the mound against Randy Wolf. First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.
The Sox will again be without Jacoby Ellsbury, whose injury "situation" persists. He's in the outfield throwing balls, and came in midway through the first start he missed, so it can't be serious. But it's certainly not helpful for a Red Sox team with a lineup that's thin even with their center fielder healthy.
Scott Podsednik will be the one getting he nod to replace Ellsbury in center this time, batting ninth. Ryan Lavarnway, owner of a .515 OPS, will slot in the fourth spot as Cody Ross moves up to third and Dustin Pedroia takes over second in Ellsbury's place.
Boston Red Sox (68-84)
Baltimore Orioles (86-64)
The Red Sox lost their first game of their three-game series against the Orioles 4-2 behind a shaky Jon Lester.
While some Sox fans will actually be pleased with the loss, given the playoff implications for the New York Yankees, they'll not be happy with the way it went down. Jon Lester, after all, is still going to be around in 2013, and his success will be important for next year's question. After a strong game against the Jays, Sox fans may have been hoping for more good signs against the Orioles he's so dominated this season.
Instead, he's got his first loss against the birds thanks to a shaky couple of innings. After the Sox took a 1-0 lead in the third, it was Matt Wieters singling past a diving James Loney to drive in two after a walk and double.
The Sox managed to make their way back into a tie when Dustin Pedroia singled home Pedro Ciriaco in the fifth, but as before, the Orioles responded to one scoring effort with a two-run attack, and once again it was Matt Wieters doing the majority of the work. This time the catcher doubled home Adam Jones after a walk, and then scored when Mark Reynolds singled to center, putting the Orioles ahead 4-2.
Though tempers would flare a bit when Robert Andino took a pitch to the back of the neck in the ninth, the issue was largely one-sided-Mark Melancon, after all, is more likely to hit you if he's not aiming for you-and the rest of the game proceeded without incident. For the Sox, that meant no big rally in the ninth, another loss, and perhaps for their fans some satisfaction in frustrating the Yankees.
The Red Sox are ready to get their series against the Orioles started as they send Jon Lester to the mound to take on Miguel Gonzalez. We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Orioles 4, Red Sox 2, End 8th -- The Sox are down to their last three outs after more futility against Darren O'Day. It's a walkoff or bust now.
Orioles 4, Red Sox 2, Mid 8th -- Scott Atchison roles through the eighth in a hurry, picking up a strikeout in his 1-2-3 frame.
Orioles 4, Red Sox 2, End 7th -- Miguel Gonzalez' night ends after a one-out single in the seventh from Jose Iglesias, bringing in Darren O'Day to pick up the last two outs and keep the Orioles ahead by two.
Orioles 4, Red Sox 2, Mid 7th -- Jon Lester manages to hold the fort down for a seventh inning, despite allowing Robert Andino to make yet another trip to the bases on a one-out single. The man is just poison to the Red Sox.
Orioles 4, Red Sox 2, End 6th -- Nothing doing for the Red Sox against Miguel Gonzalez in a 1-2-3 sixth. His performances seem like they'll continue to make the team regret letting him go.
Orioles 4, Red Sox 2, Mid 6th -- I'm beginning to sense a pattern here. Immediately after getting the tie back, the Sox surrender two in the sixth to fall behind once again. Matt Wieters is once again the man to do much of the damage, doubling home Adam Jones after a one-out walk and then scoring on a single from Mark Reynolds to make it 4-2. It's a very quick rally, but it counts all-the-same.
Orioles 2, Red Sox 2, End 5th -- The Sox work back into a tie thanks to a short two-out rally started by an infield single from Pedro Ciriaco thanks in part to an errant throw from Robert Andino, but mostly just the result of his own speed. Scott Podsednik moves Ciriaco to third with another single, and then Dustin Pedroia completes the job by breaking an 0-for-19 slump with a ground ball single that scores the run.
Orioles 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 5th -- Another double play helps Lester get through a scoreless fifth inning, this time coming from Nate McLouth and once again erasing Robert Andino on the basepaths.
Orioles 2, Red Sox 1, End 4th -- A two-out walk to Jarrod Saltalamacchia is not enough for the Sox to regain their momentum, with James Loney hitting a flair to Nate McLouth in left to end the fourth with the Sox trailing.
Orioles 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 4th -- The Orioles return the favor twice over in the top of the fourth. A leadoff single and double put runners on second and third for the Orioles, and all it takes to score both is a ground ball cued off the bat of Matt Wieters and past a diving James Loney. In the next at bat, Jose Iglesias makes a great pick of a low throw from Jon Lester and manages to turn the double play as he's taken out by Lew Ford, but it's too late to keep the lead intact.
Red Sox 1, Orioles 0, End 3rd -- The Red Sox jump on top first. Daniel Nava gets two bases where he might have had three to start, rattling a ball into the cavernous right field corner before a fan reaches out and grabs it. Umpire's discretion leaves him at second rather than third, but in the end it doesn't matter. While Jose Iglesias fails to move him along with a bunt, popping it up into the air, Pedro Ciriaco is up to the task of bringing him home, bouncing a line drive off the top of the scoreboard to make it 1-0, Sox.
Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, Mid 3rd -- Robert Andino appears to have broken up Lester's bid for another 1-2-3 inning with a one-out walk, but then completely misjudges a fly ball out to Cody Ross, who backpedals towards the track to make the grab and then throws back in to first to double up Andino at first.
Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, End 2nd -- The Sox get some decent contact from Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but he hits it right to Manny Machado at third, and that's the most promising thing to come from the Red Sox in a 1-2-3 second inning.
Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, Mid 2nd -- Jon Lester's momentum builds, as he strikes out Mark Reynolds and then adds two ground balls on three pitches to close out a 1-2-3, seven pitch second inning.
Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, End 1st -- The Sox respond to the two-out single with a one-out base knock from Scott Podsednik. Dustin Pedroia does manage to give a fly ball a ride to deep center, but it stays well short of the wall for Adam Jones, and Cody Ross completes the scoreless first with a fly ball of his own.
Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, Mid 1st -- There are reasons for Red Sox fans to hope for either team to win tonight, but all Sox fans should at least be united in hoping Jon Lester has a strong start. So far, so good. While Adam Jones did manage to squeeze a ground ball through the right side of the infield with two outs, it's all the Orioles manage against the southpaw starter in a strong first inning.
The Red Sox and Orioles are set to kick off a three-game weekend set Friday night as the birds make a last push at the AL East crown. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.
For the second straight game, the Sox will be without Jacoby Ellsbury in the starting lineup as he deals with what Bobby Valentine will only describe as an injury "situation". He might have been in today were it not for the fact that he had to be brought off the bench halfway through Thursday's game to cover for the woeful failure of the Pedro Ciriaco in center experiment.
This time it will be Scott Podsednik filling in, which should hopefully allow for fewer free doubles courtesy of the Boston defense. No guarantees, though.
Boston Red Sox (68-83)
Baltimore Orioles (85-64)
The Red Sox will play three games against the Orioles. The question is: do their fans even want them to win?
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