Robert Andino‘s walk-off single in the last game of the 2011 season crushed the Red Sox dreams. It capped a 7-20 September which moved the Red Sox from what looked like a sure playoff spot to sitting on their couches in October. Now, a year later, the Red Sox are doing the same thing to the Orioles. After the Orioles won the first two games of this series (as did the Yankees), they remained a game back in the race for first place in AL East. Ironically, in the one game that the Orioles had a chance to move into first place– the Yankees lost 5-4 today– so did the Orioles.
For the first time in what seems like years, Felix Doubront was absolutely on top of his game. In his seven innings of work, he allowed just a run on four hits and two walks, while striking out eleven. He was dominant from the start to the finish of his outing, but did not earn the win due to some iffy Red Sox offense. After good starts to the game from both Doubront and Orioles starter Chris Tillman, the Red Sox finally got on the board in the fourth. They put runners at first and second and got a run when a potential inning ending double play turned into a forceout due to an error by second baseman Robert Andino.
However, the Red Sox weren’t on top for long as three of the four hits Doubront allowed came in rapid succession to lead off the fifth. A Lew Ford single, Chris Davis double, and Manny Machado RBI single had the game knotted back up before you could say “meltdown.” However, Doubront caught ahold of himself and struck out two of the next three batters, minimizing the damage effectively and keeping it at 1-1.
Doubront’s outing lasted two more innings before he handed the ball off to Junichi Tazawa. Tazawa pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and would earn his first win of the season due to the Red Sox’ outburst in the bottom of the inning. After a leadoff double by Dustin Pedroia, a Cody Ross double effectively followed him up with scoring the go ahead run, making it 2-1. Andrew Bailey ran into a bit of trouble in the ninth, allowing the Orioles to load the bases, but he would tightrope out of danger to land his 6th save of the year.