Carp Comes Through; Sox Rally For 4-3 Win

Mike Carp came up to pinch hit in the eighth inning for phenom Xander Bogaerts, and delivered a bloop single into left to send Fenway into a frenzy as Jarrod Saltalamacchia scored the go-ahead run. The Boston Red Sox ended up with the 4-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles, and an MLB high 20 last at-bat victories.

The road to victory was paved in frustration, however, as Boston had to overcome a 3-1 deficit and another evening of low run support for the rejuvenated John Lackey. Lackey again was solid – posting 7 1/3 sharp innings – but was denied a decision as he walked off the mound to a tie game – but more importantly, a standing ovation from the Fenway Faithful.

John Lackey’s damage came via the long-ball facing the O’s potent lineup. Shortstop Manny Machado lined a third inning offering over the Green Monster for his 12th home run, a solo shot, to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead at the time.

Three innings later, Chris Davis blasted a leadoff homer into the visitor bullpen to put Baltimore on top 3-1. For Davis, it was his 47th of the year to lead all of baseball as he tries to stave off Miguel Cabrera’s attempt to become the first player ever to win back-to-back triple crowns.

After 5 1/3 of one-run ball by O’s starter Bud Norris, manager Buck Showalter went to his struggling bullpen, and the Red Sox took advantage. After a Stephen Drew double and Jacoby Ellsbury infield hit, Darren O’Day relieved Francisco Rodriguez. Ellsbury showed no ill effects if an earlier foul off his instep, and swiped his second base of the night to put two in scoring position. After a Shane Victorino line out, Dustin Pedroia came up huge with a single just through the third-short hole to bring in two and tie the game at 3-all.

Ellsbury stole no. 49, then raced home on Pedroia's game-tying single in the seventh.

Ellsbury stole no. 49, then raced home on Pedroia’s game-tying single in the seventh.

Brian Matusz and Tommy Hunter combined to strike out the first two batters of the eighth inning before Jarrod Saltalamacchia nearly launched his 12th home run over the Monster, instead settling for his team-leading 35th double to liven up the home crowd. Mike Carp then pinch-hit for Bogaerts (0-3), and came up with the rally-finishing single to overtake the Orioles.

Koji Uehara finished off another perfect ninth for his 14th save of the year as he continues to solidify what was once the Sox biggest Achilles Heel in the back of the bullpen. In the end, Boston was able to keep their 2 1/2 game lead over the victorious Tampa Bay Rays, and will look to sweep the O’s Thursday when the all-of-a-sudden hot Jon Lester will go for his 13th win against the Orioles only real ace in Chris Tillman.

Inside The Game

-A year after going an absurd 29-9 in one-run games, the Orioles fell to 14-24 in such contests in 2013. One reason? Look to the Sox bullpen to find the High-Five City inspiration, Koji Uehara, who played a big role in the Orioles bullpen a year ago.

-Jacoby Ellsbury’s two swipes gave him 49 on the year, and just one shy of his third 50+ steal season with Boston. Tommy Harper was the only player previously to have any such season, and accomplished that just once!

-David Ortiz went 0-4 and extended his slump to 0-18 with just one walk over his last five games.

-Shane Victorino singled in a run in the third inning, giving him eight RBI over his last two games.

-Xander-watch: The talented infielder went 0-3 and was pinch-hit for by Mike Carp in the eighth inning, to no one’s complaint as Carp drove home the game-winner.

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