Uehara Falters, Perfect Streak Ends, Red Sox Fall 3-2
After 37 straight batters retired, someone finally got to Koji Uehara, leading to a Red Sox loss.
Sep 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara (19) pitches during the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Koji’s fateful inning came on the heels of eight innings in which neither team seemed to be able to muster much in the way of offence. Neither starter was at their best, surrendering 10 walks between them through their combined eleven innings. Both Scott Feldman and Ryan Dempster gave up a homer each and a handful of well hit balls that simply seemed to find gloves instead of ground. What could have been a blowout instead ended up being a low scoring affair. The runs in this one weren’t going to come easy either. After Dustin Pedroia kicked things off with a leadoff home run, it seemed like no one was quite willing to push a run across. Xander Bogaerts brought in Boston’s second and ultimately final run of the game with a would-be sacrifice fly to Nate McLouth, who promptly botched the catch, allowing Bogaerts to reach as Jarrod Saltalamacchia trotted home. Craig Breslow continues to be solid, preserving the tie into the late innings, regardless of the hand he was dealt. Breslow came in with runners on the corners and no out and miraculously escaped unscathed.
Sep 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) rounds third base after hitting a home run during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
While Breslow managed to stave off Baltimore’s scoring of the winning run, Koji would not be so lucky. Former Sox, Danny Valencia, took his revenge on the Ghost of Bobby Valentine, smacking a triple to Shane Victorino. Victorino couldn’t quite get his glove on the ball resulting in Valencia’s three-bagger. With a man on third, all it took for the Orioles to walk away victorious was a sacrifice from Matt Wieters and a lockdown inning from Joe Johnson. Yet all was not lost in the hunt for the division crown as the Tampa Bay Rays fell to the Texas Rangers, pushing Boston’s magic number to 3.