Orioles beat the Red Sox again, 4-1
On a day in which it appeared Dustin Pedroia would likely be shut down for the season, the Red Sox could not solve the Orioles’ number one starter Chris Tillman. The Red Sox 82nd loss of the season tonight, means they will finish below .500 for the season.
The Red Sox were in a hole early. Red Sox starter Anthony Ranaudo walked Nick Markakis to start the game. Alejandro De Aza then deposited a pitch into the right field bullpen to give Baltimore a 2-0 lead after two batters. Ranaudo managed to escape further damage in that inning, but in the third inning, the Orioles struck again. De Aza hit one even further, over the bullpen in right field, to push the score to 3-0. Two pitches later it was Adam Jones‘ turn, homering over the Monster for a 4-0. Ranaudo managed to get one out in the fourth before John Farrell yanked him. This was Ranaudo’s shortest start of his major league career (5 starts). His season ERA rose to 5.40.
Xander Bogaerts put the Red Sox on the board in the fourth pounding a 3-2 pitch over the Monster, for his tenth homer of the season, to make it 4-1. Bogaerts recent resurgence is an encouraging sign for him. Perhaps he has overcome the struggles that have gutted his hitting line since the beginning of June. Even the out he made tonight was a line drive to the first baseman.
The Red Sox squandered a great opportunity in the fifth inning, as David Ortiz (who came into the game 2 for 21 against Tillman) grounded into a 4-6-3 double play with the bases loaded to end the inning. In his prior at-bat Ortiz had struck out with runners on second and third to end the third inning.
Highly touted prospect, 2011 first rounder Matt Barnes, made his major league debut, throwing three scoreless innings. Barnes even managed to pitch out of a second and third one out jam in the eighth to keep the score close. Carlos Rivero picked up his first major league hit, a single to right leading off the seventh inning, in the game for Will Middlebrooks who was sidelined by the illness that has spread through the clubhouse. Rivero had walked in his only previous big league plate appearance. Andrew Miller pitched for the first time against the Red Sox since being traded away at the deadline this year. Miller struck out pinch hitter Allen Craig who is now five for 47 in a Red Sox uniform, to strand another two runners for the Red Sox.
The only Orioles reliever the Red Sox could get to was closer Zach Britton. Bogaerts worked a walk to start the ninth against Britton. Rivero laced a double to the gap in right center which Markakis cut off before it reached the wall. When the ball got away on Markakis’ throw in, Bogaerts tried to score on the misplay and was easily thrown out at home. A second and third situation with no outs turned in to runner at second one out. The Red Sox went quietly after that.
The Red Sox are three for 24 with runners in scoring position in their latest three game losing streak. If they can avoid a sweep tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. against the Orioles, they would at least manage to salvage a .500 homestand, before they head off for their last road trip of the season.