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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