The Red Sox fell to the Orioles 5-3 Wednesday night after a costly five-run sixth inning.
Aaron Cook started the game about as well as he's started any game before. Getting through the first three innings without giving up a baserunner, Cook had the Orioles putting the ball on the ground time and again-always a good sign for the sinkerballer. In fact, through the end of five, Cook had a no-hitter going, thanks in part to an infield single turned into an out by a bad call from Laz Diaz to end the fourth.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, had done little better through the first five innings. After scoring fourteen runs in four innings on Sunday, the Sox had scored none in the last four, one in nine innings on Tuesday, and through the first four Wednesday, a goose egg. They had stranded runner after runner in the first game of the series, and got right back to that in the first inning against Miguel Gonzalez, leaving two on base. They would muster just the one baserunner over the next three innings as Gonzalez matched Cook zero-for-zero.
Finally, the Sox would break through in the fifth. Singles from Scott Podsednik and Nick Punto set the table, before a ground rule double to right-center off the bat of Jacoby Ellsbury brought in a run, and a line drive sacrifice fly from Carl Crawford scored a second. Cook finally had his lead, but he would not hold it for long.
After allowing leadoff walks in both the fourth and fifth, Cook waited until he had one out to give up the free pass in the sixth. This time, though, hits followed. The first Orioles hit of the night-a ringing single to left from J.J. Hardy-was quickly followed by a second from Nate McLouth that cut the lead in half. While Cook would get the ground ball he needed to potentially get him out of the inning, his throw to second was well off the mark, resulting in a tie game and a runner on third with one out. A double to the wall in left made it an Orioles lead, and ended Cook's night.
The 3-2 lead was one the Sox could overcome, but it didn't stay that way even through the end of the sixth. Bobby Valentine turned to Andrew Miller, who did manage to pick up the second out with Dustin Pedroia firing home to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who held onto the ball despite a nasty collision at the plate. Junichi Tazawa would be next out of the pen, however, surrendering a double and an infield single to make it 5-2 before the Sox could end the inning.
The Sox would manage to pull one back in the seventh, but it would not be enough, with the 5-3 defeat ensuring a series loss.
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