The Orioles fought hard but failed to hold on, dropping the game 8-7 to the Red Sox in the ninth inning. Kevin Gregg was handed the loss while Alfredo Aceves got the win.
With the bats still surging, the O’s got the lead early with the first three hitters getting on base. Brian Roberts singled on the first pitch of the game and then Nick Markakis drew a free pass. Derrek Lee just missed putting the ball over the Green Monster—instead he doubled to give the team a run. Vladimir Guerrero grounded out to add another.
With neither starter having great stuff on the night, the Orioles took advantage by adding an additional run in the top of the third. Guerrero started it off with a single and Luke Scott followed with a walk. Matt Wieters drove in Guerrero with a single.
The Birds added to the lead again in the fifth inning. Another leadoff walk, this one being to Scott, and a second to Wieters hurt Boston as both came around to score. Mark Reynolds got the RBI single and J.J. Hardy came through with a sacrifice fly. In the sixth, Adam Jones tacked on the sixth run of the game with an RBI single.
The Red Sox got on the board in the bottom of the sixth as J.D. Drew singled to left field and got to second on an error by Scott. He came into to score on a double by Jed Lowrie. Lowrie moved around to third on an error by Reynolds and was brought in on a single by Jason Varitek as Boston got the first four hitters on base in the inning. A two-out single to left field by Adrian Gonzalez added the third run for the team. Kevin Youkilis drove in two more runs with a double to left field as he brought the Sox within one.
The Orioles got a run back when Reynolds led off the seventh inning with a solo shot.
Varitek got another RBI after Lowrie tripled in the seventh with the Red Sox making a comeback. Back-to-back walks by Ellsbury and Pedroia and a game winning hit off the Green Monster by Gonzalez came for the Sox in the ninth.
Tillman struggled early on but settled down some throughout the game, managing to get the big plays to keep Boston from going scoreless over his 5.0 innings of work. He used the wind to his advantage to keep the ball in the park, getting six fly outs and five ground outs from 23 batter faced. He forced the Red Sox to strand 8 runners and go 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position while he was on the mound.
The bullpen showed definite signs of lack of work as Michael Gonzalez took over in the sixth, going only 0.1 innings and giving up four runs. He has given up at least one run in each of his last three appearances and in eight of his 14 this season. Jeremy Accardo came on to face three hitters to surrender a run before being taken out. Clay Rapada finished the inning.
Jim Johnson took over in the seventh, giving up a run on three hits. Koji Uehara pitched the eighth inning, going scoreless but giving up a double. Kevin Gregg surrendered two runs on a hit and two walks.
Having trouble finding the strike zone, Daisuke Matsuzaka threw 106 pitches over his 4.1 with only 57 being for strikes. He gave up five runs on five hits, surrendering a new season high seven walks and striking out only two. Scott Atchison came out of the pen for 1.2 innings, giving up a run on three hits. Alfredo Aceves went 3.0 innings, allowing a run and two hits.
The Orioles continued their running game that has come about in the last three games. Tonight, they went 4-for-4 in attempted steals with Roberts getting two and Reynolds and Markakis with one. Every Oriole with the exception of Jake Fox got on base in some form with the team drawing eight walks and getting 10 hits. Despite getting seven runs, the team went 4-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on, not being able to completely optimize tonight. The offense was sat down in order only once on the night, coming in the ninth inning.
Lee was taken out of the game and replaced by Jake Fox due to a left oblique problem.
Finishing off the two game short series tomorrow, Zach Britton (5-2) will take on probably Tim Wakefield as John Lackey, who was supposed to make the start, was placed on the DL earlier today—though no official announcements have been made.