The Red Sox would fight back from a late deficit, but it only ended up granting them one inning's reprieve, as the Orioles took an 8-6 victory Wednesday night.
Early in the third month of the season, and up against a team that has traditionally been his favored opponent, the Sox were hoping for a big outing from Jon Lester. And, were it not for a defensive slip, perhaps it would have looked that way in the end.
Instead, however, a third-inning blunder would cost the Red Sox a pair of runs, as Mike Aviles flubbed a force out at second in an inning that would balloon from two on, two outs into a pair of runs and a bases loaded situation. Lester gave up the hits that cost the team the runs, but the situation would never have been but for Aviles' error.
The Sox would end up bouncing back thanks to some bad Baltimore defense in the fifth. With two on and nobody out, Mark Reynolds attempted to field a bunt and get the force out at third. Not only was the play not even there to be made, but Steve Tolleson had the ball pass right by him, allowing a run to come in and another to score on a sacrifice fly.
The Orioles would grab the lead right back in the sixth after a leadoff double from Matt Wieters, but the Sox would go up 4-3 in the bottom half of the inning on a single from Mike Aviles and a sacrifice fly from Scott Podsednik.
The seesaw battle would continue in the seventh as the bullpen came into the game and crumbled. Scott Atchison, amazing for the year so far, entered the game with one on and nobody out and gave up a pair of singles, a walk, and a run before leaving with one out. Matt Albers would enter only to allow another pair of singles and two more runs, leaving the Sox down 6-4.
The lead would last the Orioles right up until the Sox were down to their last strike, but that's when home run hero and burning hot catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia provided another huge moment, taking a pitch high over the outside part of the plate and hitting a high fly ball that bounced off the ledge in front of the Monster seats for a game-tying shot.
Unfortunately, the tie evaporated nearly immediately thereafter. Alfredo Aceves could not get the job done in his second inning of work. With a runner at second and one out, Aceves would surrender three straight singles to make it 8-6 Sox--a lead that Boston would finally fail to overcome.
|Final - 6.5.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||R||H||E|
|Boston Red Sox||0||0||0||0||2||2||0||0||2||0||6||11||1|
|WP: Jim Johnson (1 - 0)
LP: Alfredo Aceves (0 - 3)