Written by Chris Slade
Today's game got under way at 11:05 AM with Clay Buchholz (0-1, 5.53 ERA) on the mound for the Red Sox and Wei-Yin Chen (2-1, 4.76 ERA) on the mound for the Orioles. Chen cruised through the first three innings, not allowing a hit. Meanwhile, Buccholz turned in a disastrous outing for the Red Sox and was pulled with just one out in the 2nd inning after the Orioles rocked him for seven hits and six earned runs. The Red Sox were able to get to Chen in the 5th when they scored three runs on doubles by Jackie Bradley Jr. and Dustin Pedroia.
David Ross cut the lead to 6-4 in the 7th with a home run off Zach Britton. The Orioles responded with an RBI single by Ryan Flaherty to go up 7-4 but the Red Sox tacked on another run in the bottom of the 8th via Mike Napoli home run. For the second straight game the Red Sox were in position to walkoff as they loaded the bases against Tommy Hunter in the 9th with one out. Hunter was able to get out of it, allowing a run to score, but securing a 7-6 win and a series split with Boston.
Wei-Yin Chen, as you'll recall, lost his first outing of the year to Boston, a start in which he allowed 12 hits over 5 innings. Today, his results were much improved early in the game as he was able to work through the first three innings without allowing a hit. However, Chen didn't have his sharpest control today and was often nibbling and falling behind in the count to hitters. Chen got lucky in the 4th inning when he put the first two batters on with no outs and fell behind 3-2 to Mike Napoli. Napoli chased a high and away fastball out of the zone for strike three. Jonny Gomes then jumped on a fastball over the middle of the plate and smoked a line drive right to Ryan Flaherty's glove at short who was then able to double off Dustin Pedroia at second.
Chen put the first two runners on again in the 5th and would not be able to get away unscathed this time. After getting David Ross out on a chopper back to the pitcher, Chen surrendered a ground rule double to Jackie Bradley Jr. on a hanging curveball. Brock Holt then sac flied a run in and the ultimate Orioles nemesis, Dustin Pedroia, followed that up with an RBI double past a diving Jonathan Schoop down the line. With his pitch count running up and his clear loss of effectiveness after the first time through the Boston lineup, Chen's day was over after five innings. He picked up the win thanks to Clay Buccholz's stinkbomb outing, but it would have been nice to see Chen take advantage of the early lead and give the O's 6 or 7 quality innings.
Final Line: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, Win
Ryan Webb took over and dazzled in the 6th inning has he struck out the side in order.
Zach Britton pitched the 7th inning and surrendered his first earned run of the season when David Ross put one over the monster.
Darren O'Day started the 8th but struggled allowing a solo homer to Mike Napoli as well as singles to Xander Bogaerts and Daniel Nava.
Enter Brian Matusz. Matusz worked out of the inning on a double play of striking out Jonathan Herrera while Steve Clevenger gunned down Bogaerts on an attempted steal of third.
Tommy Hunter made things interesting in the 9th inning when Brock Holt singled with one out and the nemesis Pedroia nearly put one over the monster to tie the game but instead recorded a double. Hunter wisely intentionally walked David Ortiz to load the bases. After falling behind 3-1 to Napoli, Hunter induced a groundout to second, scoring Holt from third. Hunter escaped the jam after inducing another groundout from Mike Carp to first for the win.
Productive day for the offense as everyone in the lineup recorded a hit.
The 2nd inning was a treat to watch as Buchholz imploded. Steve Lombardozzi, David Lough, Nick Markakis, Nelson Cruz, and Chris Davis hit five consecutive singles to lead off the inning, scoring three runs in the process.
After Adam Jones hit an RBI groundout, Steve Clevenger roped a double down the line to score Jones. Jonathan Schoop delivered the knockout punch with a Fenway single off the Green Monster, scoring Clevenger, the 6th and final run of the inning.
The Orioles bats were held in check over the next several innings by long man Burke Badenhop but tacked on a much needed insurance run in the 8th thanks to Ryan Flaherty's RBI single off Craig Breslow.
Ryan Flaherty played solid defense at shortstop today and made a nice heads up play to double off Dustin Pedroia at second after catching a liner off the bat of Jonny Gomes in the 4th inning.
Steve Clevenger gunned down Xander Bogaerts in the bottom of the 8th inning, a crucial rookie mishap that ended the Red Sox rallying chances.
Key Moments In The Game
The bats coming through in a big way in the 3rd inning.
Chen not allowing a big inning in the 4th.
Flaherty's key RBI single in the 8th which turned out to be much needed insurance.
Hunter inducing two crucial groundouts to prevent another disastrous finish in Boston.
Other Notes/ Musings
The announcers said Clay Buchholz slept overnight at the ballpark. He pitched like he was still asleep.
The Orioles offense is second to last in team home runs right now. But, boy could they hit singles today.
No errors today!
Orioles were 1-5 previously in these 11:05 AM Patriots Day games in Boston. Thankfully, they held on for the win and I'll gladly take a series split at Boston.
They head to Toronto tomorrow for a 7:05 ET game with the Blue Jays. Miguel Gonzalez and R.A. Dickey on the mound.
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