The last place Red Sox and the first place Baltimore Orioles meet again, but this time, the game was a little easier for Sox fans to watch (and thankfully ended in just 9 innings). More importantly, the Red Sox are finally at .500 for the season.
Despite not having the rocket power behind Cody Ross’ bat at the plate, after discovering a navicular bone fracture in his left foot, the Sox managed to find power in other places.
The game took off with two consistent innings from Clay Buchholz, who is not always the most reliable starter. By the end of the third, however, things had already fallen apart for Buchholz and the Sox were down 4-2 after walking three batters and allowing three hits. In the fourth, Buchholz gave up a solo home run to Orioles’ Chris Davis, and the Orioles were up 5-2. After settling down late in the fifth, Buchholz was able to get out of the inning without giving up any more runs, but with a high pitch count it’d be his last. Enter: Andrew Miller in the sixth. Miller pitched spotless sixth and seventh innings, including back-to-back strikeouts, he would go on to also pick up his first win for the Sox. Come the eighth, Rich Hill was brought in to relieve, giving up three hits and one run. Sox skipper Bobby Valentine pulled the plug on Hill early and brought in Vincent Padilla to pitch the rest of the inning. Padilla chalked a K and was able to get a fly ball to bail out Hill, but one run scored, knocking the Sox lead down to two, 8-6. Padilla set the stage for Aceves to come in and pick up his tenth save for the Sox, pitching a 1-2-3 ninth.
In the second, Nava hit a leadoff single, continuing to prove that he wants a spot in the Sox lineup for the long-term. Following Nava, Marlon Byrd started heating things up with a ground rule double to kick off the third. Aviles drove in Nava for an RBI and Pedroia knocked out a sac fly to bring Byrd home to score the Sox first two runs. By the top of the sixth, the Sox were down 5-2, when David Ortiz came to plate and picked up his tenth home run of the year, a solo shot. After a balked ball hit by Will Middlebrooks down the third base line, two more runs would score and the Sox would be tied with the Orioles 5-5 at the end of the inning, but that wasn’t the last fans would hear from Middlebrooks; in the seventh, he picked up his third hit of the game, which would aid in driving in Dustin Pedroia; Kevin Gregg intentionally walked David Ortiz, and Adrian Gonzalez hit a key sac fly. The Sox picked up two more, to earn the lead back 7-5. By the eighth, Sox newbie Che-Hsuan Lin picked up his first career hit for the Sox, a single; David Ortiz scooped up the ball for Lin, passing it to Tim Bogar, who faked tossing the ball into the stands as Kevin Youkilis did for Will Middlebrooks when he got his first career hit. Lin would score for the Sox later in the inning when Pedroia drove him in for an RBI and an 8-5 lead over the Orioles.
The Sox went on to win the game 8-6 over the Orioles, their first win against Baltimore this season, and the offense has finally earned .500 on the season. Andrew Miller gets the win (1-0), Kevin Gregg picks up the loss (2-2) and Alfredo Aceves gets the save (10). But that Buchholz…he sure is worrisome.
The next game in the three-game series is tomorrow, 5/21 in Baltimore at 7:05pm. Probable pitchers: Doubront (LHP, 4-1, 4.09 ERA) vs. Brian Matusz (LHP, 3-4, 5.36 ERA)
About the Author
Written by Erika Leigh
Erika Leigh is a twenty-something, rabid New England sports fan who currently lives in New York City, where she's constantly taking heat for the teams she loves. Erika has been a lifelong Red Sox and Patriots fan who more recently fell in love with the Bruins and Celtics. She was a sports editor for her high school's newspaper in Western Mass, currently writes a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog, "Shoes, Shirts & Other Sh!t", and hosts a New England sports news update show on YouTube. Erika hopes to eventually work as a reporter or sportscaster in the Boston/New England market.