It was a rainy, sloppy night at Fenway Park as the Red Sox took on the Baltimore Orioles in the second of a three-game set. As it turned out, the weather wasn’t the only thing that was ugly.
The Red Sox made two errors – their first two of the season – both leading to Oriole runs and Sox starter Ryan Dempster didn’t help his cause. Both teams struggled through mediocrity and intermittent periods of drizzle, driving rain and a delay in the fifth. The Orioles’ Jake Arrierta matched Demster bad pitch for bad pitch. Dempster threw 93 pitches over five innings. Arrieta threw 69 pitches over the same number of frames.
After a lead off walk by Nate McLouth in the first inning, Jacoby Ellsbury uncharacteristically muffed an easy Manny Machado fly ball when he and Shane Victorino miscommunicated to keep an inning alive for the Os. When Nick Markakis grounded out to Mike Napoli, McLouth scored.
After Boston scored two runs in the third on Ellsbury and Victorino RBIs, the Orioles broke back to tie it in the fourth on a Markakis solo homer and a Jackie Bradley Junior bobble on a Matt Weiters single that Adam Jones took advantage of and scored on to tie the game at 3-3.
When play resumed the Sox took the momentum back in the sixth inning when DH Daniel Nava hit a solo homer into the Monster seats off Hunter. Salty followed with another solo shot into Williamsburg to put the Sox up 5-3 and Sox fans got a ray of sunshine – that is until the ninth inning when an Oriole deluge of five runs put the game out of reach.
Boston closer Joel Hanrahan simply got hammered. He gave up a lead-off homer to Chris Davis to pull the Os within one run. After Hanrahan got Matt Wieters to strike out and J.J. Hardy to pop out, Ryan Flaherty singled and both Nolan Reimold and Mclouth walked back-to-back, setting the stage for a 2012-like blow up. Hanrahan threw a wild pitch to allow a run and then gave up a three-run bomb to Machado. 8-5 Orioles. The Sox went down with a whimper 1, 2, 3 in the bottom of the night. Game over. Ugly loss. Turn the page.
Alfredo Aceves goes against Chris Tillman at 7:10 Thursday night in an attempt to win the series. Until then the Red Sox and their fans will have to lick some wounds that have that old, familiar sting in them.