Red Sox Rally For Lackey, Then Hold On To Beat Orioles 5-4

It didn’t start or end too pretty for the Red Sox, but in the end the Sox were able to hold on to a close one at Camden yards; beating the Orioles 5-4. John Lackey was roughed up in the first, but settled in to pitch one of his better games of the season in allowing just two earned over seven innings.

Things got off to a bad start for Lackey, as he gave up ringing hits to the first four Oriole batters. With speedy Nate McLouth on first, 20-year-old sensation Manny Machado doubled down the left field line to plate the first run of the game. Two batters later, Adam Jones’ infield single scored Machado from third for a quick 2-0 lead and it looked as though the Sox were in for a long afternoon. Lackey would settle in, however and no further damage was inflicted against Boston.

The game was the exact opposite for the Sox bats, as they started slow over the first three innings but finally caught up to veteran Freddy Garcia in the middle innings. Boston was able to tag Garcia for three runs in the fourth, grabbing a lead they would not relinquish. With Dustin Pedroia on, Mike Carp launched a two-run homer to right to knot the score. Later, with two outs and Jonny Gomes on first, Stephen Drew lined a double to right field, and Gomes motored around to slide home for the 3-2 lead, showing some terrific baserunning in the process.

Mike Carp has been doing a Babe Ruth impression lately, slugging his eighth homer in just 103 at-bats.

Mike Carp has been doing a Babe Ruth impression lately, slugging his eighth homer in just 103 at-bats.

A Pedroia RBI groundout in the fifth and solo home run for Gomes in the sixth gave the Sox a 5-2 cushion, and with Lackey suddenly in the zone, it was a lead that looked very safe.

Lackey gave up only three hits over his final six innings, and retired 11 of 13 at one point, and gave the Sox an impressive seven innings, lowering his ERA to 3.08. Koji Uehara relived Lackey for a dominant eighth inning, striking out the side on just 15 pitches. T.J. McFarland was able to pitch 3 2/3 scoreless for the Orioles to keep the game close – something that almost paid off big for Baltimore.

Andrew Bailey came on for the ninth, who on Monday blew a two-run lead in Tampa to send the game into extra innings (a game that would last 14 innings in a Sox win.) Bailey again looked shaky as he surrendered three hits in the ninth, setting up a possible walk-off situation. Jones had singled to begin the inning, but Bailey got the toughest hitter in the lineup, Chris Davis, to strike out. However, catcher Matt Wieters took a 2-1 pitch to right for a home run that brought the O’s within a run. J.J. Hardy followed with a single to bring the go-ahead run to the plate in Ryan Flaherty. The Oriole’s second baseman flied out to right, however, and Hardy was caught napping in the basepaths as Shane Victorino showed he still possesses a solid arm in doubling off Hardy to end a wild game in Baltimore.

The Sox and O’s finish off the four game set Sunday afternoon with Baltimore’s Miguel Gonzalez facing Jon Lester who is desperately trying to right a ship that has been foundering of late. The Sox are looking to up their streak of not losing series to seven in a row.

Jay Coorey – Senior MLB Contributor – Title Town Sports

 

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