If ever there was a game that underscored just how far the Sox have fallen and how profoundly the tables have turned in the AL East, one need only have watched Friday night’s Sox/Orioles first of a three game set at Fenway Park.
Jon Lester entered the game a dominant 14-0 lifetime against the Birds. During Lester’s win streak Boston was very good to great and the Orioles distinctly quite the opposite. And so it was only fitting in this season when Fenway Park’s 100th birthday party was spoiled by a king-sized turd in the punch bowl that Boston took an early lead, the Orioles came back and the Sox went down with a whimper as Lester lost his first game ever against the Baltimore 4-2.
Coming off a monumentally deflating 7-4 walk off loss in Tampa Bay – as if the leaden air in the 2012 balloon had not swooshed out weeks ago – the Red Sox in the waning weeks of the September have but one mission; screw things up for the contenders. Boston was able to mess up Tampa Bay’s run by splitting their recent series with the Rays. Sure, major damage wasn’t done but Tampa was forced to tread water as the clock ticked down. Tampa Bay is doing a very good job of tripping over themselves. The Orioles, however, are a team on a mission.
Prediction: Baltimore is going to win the American League East. To paraphrase Al Franken’s SNL character, Stuart Smalley, they’re good enough, they’re smart enough and doggone it, people like them.
After Pedro Ciriaco doubled in the 3rd to score Daniel Nava and give Boston a 1-0 lead, Baltimore’s Matt Wieter’s singled to score J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones. Wieters would terrorize Boston all night, doubling to score Jones again in the sixth to put Baltimore up 3-2. Mark Reynolds followed by singling to score Wieters and put the Birds up 4-2. That’s all the Birds would need.
With the win, the Orioles kept pace just one game behind the league-leading Yankees while moving their regular season record to 9-4 against Boston.
You tell me that you love me so,
You tell me that you care,
But when I need you,
(Baby) Baby (Your never there).
- Never There, Cake