Orioles Avoid Sweep, Salvage Finale vs Red Sox 3-2
The Red Sox sent a resurgent Jon Lester to the mound as they looked for their first three game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles since 2011. The Orioles countered with their ace, Chris Tillman and he was just a bit better as the Orioles avoided the sweep by beating the Red Sox 3-2.
Aug 29, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Baltimore Orioles pitcherChris Tillman
(30) delivers a pitch during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Drew got the Red Sox on the board first in the bottom of the second with a two-out RBI single off Tillman that scored Daniel Nava for a 1-0 lead.
But Lester gave it right back in the top of the third as Manny Machado drilled a two-run double to left center to make it 2-1 Orioles. Lester was able to limit the damage in the inning to just the two runs as he retired Chris Davis on a fly to right and then Shane Victorino helped out his pitcher by making a great running catch on a gap shot to right center off the bat of Matt Weiters to end the threat.
A two-out walk to Adam Jones allowed the Orioles extend their lead to 3-1 in the fifth as Davis hit a wall scraping double that scored Jones.
The scalding hot Victorino got the Red Sox closer at 3-2 as he led off the sixth with a solo homer into the Monster seats.
Lester worked the first six innings and the numbers were middling: 5H, 3ER, 3BB and 4K. His velocity was good but the location only so-so as the walks hurt him. Two of the three he allowed scored.
Tillman was outstanding for Baltimore. He worked the first seven and scattered six hits and two runs with no walks and eight strikeouts.
The Red Sox put the pressure on in the eighth against Tommy Hunter as Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a single, stole second (his 50th swipe of the year) moved to third on a sac fly but was stranded as lefty Brian Matusz came on to strike out the slumping David Ortiz.
After a leadoff infield hit by Nava in the ninth, Jonny Gomes hit into a double play and Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out looking against Jim Johnson to end it.
Next up for the Red Sox: a three game weekend series at Fenway vs the Chicago White Sox. It will be Ryan Dempster and Hector Santiago on the mound in game one tomorrow night at 7:10pm EDT.