For the second straight game, the Red Sox seemed poised to break their losing streak with a late lead. And for the second straight game, they couldn’t hold on, as the Orioles put together a three-run eighth on Santo Luis to send the Sox to a 4-3 loss—their tenth straight.
For once, the Sox had no shot at losing thanks to a poor performance from their starting pitcher. With Brandon Duckworth taking the mound in the first inning (Jon Lester pitched in an intrasquad game, allowing five runs—four earned—in five innings with five strikeouts and no walks), it was a bullpen game through-and-through for Boston.
After escaping his two innings unscathed, Duckworth handed the ball over to Matt Albers with a 2-0 lead courtesy of a J.D. Drew home run in top of the third. Having gone all spring without allowing a walk, Albers regressed to his old bad habits against his former team, allowing a pair of free passes and a run while recording four outs.
The Red Sox tacked on another run in the fourth on a Drew Sutton triple, while a combination of Dan Turpen, Dennys Reyes, Jason Rice, and Tommy Hottovy held the Orioles off the board through the seventh inning. But with the win in reach, the Sox couldn’t seal the deal. Santo Luis came in and showed his great consistency in allowing singles. Luke Scott got it started, and was followed by four more base hits, scoring three runs and sending Luis back to the pen the losing pitcher.
Really, today was not a loss for the Major League Red Sox. That team won their part of the game. But it’s small consolation after seeing that string of losses growing one longer.