Miguel Tejada’s eighth inning homer off Daniel Bard shocked the Red Sox, who had earned their first lead of the game just minutes earlier on J.D. Drew’s solo shot.
Then, with Manny Delcarmen hoping to keep the game going into the 11th, Tejada grounded a hanging curveball up the middle, cashing in on Adam Jones’ one-out double.
The 5-4 decision gives Matt Albers his first win of the year, and the Orioles just their fifth of the season. Ramon Ramirez takes the loss for Boston, as the Red Sox finish the month of April with a record of 11-12.
Final, Orioles 5-4: Miguel Tejada was a thorn in the Red Sox’ side all night.
Tejada drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the first, tied the game with a homer in the eighth, and came through with a walkoff single in the 10th to beat the Red Sox 5-4.
Mid 10th, 4-4: For a moment, it seemed as though the Microwave was cooking again. But Darnell McDonald’s towering shot curved foul of the left field pole.
Matt Albers then proceeded to strike out McDonald with a high fastball, completing the first 1-2-3 inning worked by Baltimore’s pen.
End 9th, 4-4: There will be free baseball in Baltimore.
Ramon Ramirez retired the Orioles’ side in order in the ninth, sending the game to extras.
That could prove problematic for Baltimore manager Dave Trembley, who only has two more relievers — Matt Alberts and Alberto Castillo — at his disposal.
Mid 9th, 4-4: The Red Sox had an opportunity to pull back ahead in the ninth inning, after a pair of walks issued by reliever Alfredo Simon. But the hard-throwing youngster recovered to escape the jam.
J.D. Drew and David Ortiz each worked 3-2 counts with runners at first and second. But after setting them up with mid-90s fastballs, Simon turned to his changeup and fanned them to preserve the tie.
The Red Sox have now left 11 runners on base in the game and are just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Jason Varitek has replaced Victor Martinez behind the plate, and Ramon Ramirez will take the mound for Boston in the ninth.
End 8th, 4-4: Daniel Bard had been excellent in his past three appearances, but he couldn’t keep the Orioles off the board tonight.
After getting two quick outs to start the bottom of the eighth, Bard served up a challange fastball that Miguel Tejada smacked into the left field stands to tie the game at four.
The homer will saddle Bard with his third blown save of the season, and it’s a new ballgame heading into the ninth.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 4-3: J.D. Drew has faced plenty of criticism for his early season slump, but he’s finishing the month of April with a bang.
Drew bashed his second homer of the game — and fourth of the season — on a high fastball from Jim Johnson, driving it to straight-away center field to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead.
The Red Sox then loaded the bases on Beltre’s third hit of the game, followed by a pair of walks. But sidearmer Cla Meredith relieved Johnson and got Scutaro to ground out to second to limit the damage.
John Lackey is now in line for his third victory of the season. Daniel Bard will look to earn his sixth hold of the year by preserving the narrow lead in the eighth.
End 7th, 3-3: Now off the hook thanks to Pedroia’s RBI single, John Lackey stayed in the game and faced the minimum in the seventh.
A two out single by Adam Jones briefly put Lackey into the stretch, but a nice pickoff move caught the young outfielder in a rundown to end the inning.
Lackey has now thrown a season-high 120 pitches in the game, meaning that Terry Francona likely will turn to his bullpen in the eighth.
Mid 7th, 3-3: Dustin Pedroia has bailed his teammates out again. The second baseman singled off Baltimore’s third reliever of the game, Jim Johnson, bringing home Darnell McDonald to tie the game at three.
Pedroia’s heroics ought to help Adrian Beltre get over a rough day on the basepaths. Beltre was caught stealing at third base earlier in the game, and was charged with interference for making contact with the second baseman’s leg here in the seventh. The result was a double play for the Orioles.
The Red Sox have now had the leadoff runner on in four consecutive innings, scoring twice during that span.
End 6th, Orioles 3-2: Last time out against the Orioles, Lackey needed 111 pitches to get through seven innings. He needed 108 to battle through six tonight.
The Red Sox may have to score to get their starting pitcher the win, as Hideki Okajima was preparing to potentially replace him in the seventh.
Mid 6th, Orioles 3-2: Dustin Pedroia has four hits against David Hernandez in his career, and each of them has left the yard.
A rare opposite-field shot by the Red Sox’ second baseman gives him six long balls on the year, and cuts the deficit in half.
Southpaw Will Ohman relieved Hernandez midway through the frame, as the righty departed having allowed two runs on three hits and five walks in 5 1/3 innings. Ohman retired Drew on a strikeout and Ortiz on a comebacker, thereby preserving the one-run lead.
Home plate umpire Eric Cooper has taken a beating in this one, as four batted balls have now ricocheted off his mask.
End 5th, Orioles 3-1: John Lackey needed a quick fifth inning and he got it.
Lackey fanned Adam Jones to start the frame, then coaxed a pair of harmless groundouts, one of which retired Markakis for the first time today.
With Lackey up to 91 pitches and Jason Berken already warming up for the Orioles, the bullpens may factor into this one before long.
Mid 5th, Orioles 3-1: A strike-‘em-out, throw-‘em-out helped Lackey in the first. Unfortunately, the Red Sox fell victim to a similar play in the fifth.
Boston seemed to be threatening with two on, one out, and Scutaro ahead in the count 3-0. But Hernandez battled back, and on the 3-2 pitch, Scutaro was unable to make contact with a high fastball, and Beltre tripped over the bag at third.
End 4th, Orioles 3-1: Disaster averted, but not completely.
The Orioles took advantage of two Boston errors — one by McDonald that turned Tejada single into a double, and another by Beltre on a possible double play ball that allowed Tejada to score — to plate their third run of the evening.
Lackey issued two walks in the inning, but induced a 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded to keep the score manageable for the Red Sox. He has thrown 80 pitches in the game, as a plethora of three-ball counts have taken their toll.
Mid 4th, Orioles 2-1: The Red Sox were unable to take advantage of Hernandez’s command issues in the fourth.
Hernandez missed with his first five pitches of the inning, but Kevin Youkilis sandwiched a double play between walks drawn by Martinez and Drew.
David Ortiz could not catch up with a slew of 94-mph fastballs from Hernandez, striking out to end the inning.
End 3rd, Orioles 2-1: Just three innings into this one, Lackey has already exceeded his previous season-high strikeout total.
Lackey has employed the curveball to perfection in two-strike counts, earning three of his four punchouts with that pitch.
A nice, over-the-shoulder, basket catch by Adrian Beltre helped Lackey win a nine-pitch battle with Wieters to end the inning.
Mid 3rd, Orioles 2-1: After a few well-hit balls during the first two innings, the Red Sox had trouble getting good swings off of Hernandez in the third.
Pedroia’s dribbler to the pitcher was the second check-swing groundout of the game for Boston.
End 2nd, Orioles 2-1: Lackey looked much sharper in his second trip to the mound, complementing his fastball with an array of offspeed pitches to keep the Orioles off-balance.
The righty got Ty Wigginton to swing and miss at a curveball in the dirt, and caught Garrett Atkins looking at a well-placed fastball giving him three strikeouts thus far.
Mid 2nd, Orioles 2-1: J.D Drew may finally be coming alive.
Drew stayed with an outside fastball and drove it just over the wall in left field. The homer was his third of the year and the first allowed this season by Hernandez, who was taken deep 27 times last year.
End 1st, Orioles 2-0: Dave Trembley’s squad seems to have devised an aggressive game-plan against Lackey, and it paid off in the first.
Three straight hits to begin the inning led to a pair of runs for Baltimore.
The Red Sox were victimized by some tough luck when a pickoff play at third backfired because Wieters swung and hit the pitch, while Beltre’s route to the base prevented him from fielding the ball.
A strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play helped Lackey escape.
Mid 1st, 0-0: The Red Sox went down quickly in the first as Hernandez needed just 10 pitches to retire the side in order.
Hernandez’s fastball is sitting at 93-mph in the early going, with some late tailing action, moving in to right-handed batters. He has also mixed in his slider more than he did in the first meeting with Boston.
7:07 p.m.: It’s 80 degrees with cloudless skies at game time in Baltimore. A moderate breeze blowing out to right might favor the lefty boppers in this one.
7:01 p.m.: With just a few minutes to go before first pitch, the Red Sox should look to jump on Hernandez early.
The young righty has coughed up eight of his 13 runs allowed within the first 30 pitches, but has shown a penchant for settling in after that.
6:36 p.m.: Recent history certainly favors the Red Sox tonight.The Sox are 18-3 in their last 21 games against the Orioles. Additionally, the teams’ records mirror each other over the past nine games — the Red Sox are 7-2, while the Orioles are 2-7.
5:40 p.m.: Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who is on the disabled list with a painful rib injury, had his best day yet on Friday, NESN.com’s Tony Lee reports.
“Today was by far his best day,” manager Terry Francona said.
However, Ellsbury also said that although his pain is slowly diminishing, it is still bothering him, particularly when he takes deep breaths.
Ellsbury is working on hitting off a tee and says his ability to replicate his in-game swing will be the barometer for when he’s ready to return. He is unsure whether he’ll need a rehab stint in the minors.
4:11 p.m.: One thing John Lackey may try to work on tonight is generating more swings-and-misses.
Opposing batters have whiffed on just 11.1 percent of their swings against Lackey this season, the lowest mark of his career. That has contributed to Lackey’s difficulty putting hitters away,
Lackey has fanned only 11 batters in 23 innings to date, and opponents are batting .289 (13-for-45) against him in two-strike counts this season.
4:08 p.m.: The Red Sox will look for their middle infielders to catalyze the offense tonight. Marco Scutaro has been red-hot of late, going 6-for-14 over the past three game. Meanwhile, Dustin Pedroia enters tonight’s contest with a seemingly mediocre 3-for-13 resume against David Hernandez, but all three of his hits have been home runs.
Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Victor Martinez, C
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
J.D. Drew, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jeremy Hermida, LF
Darnell McDonald, CF
–John Lackey, P
Adam Jones, CF
Nick Markakis, RF
Matt Wieters, C
Miguel Tejada, 3B
Luke Scott, LF
Ty Wigginton, 2B
Rhyne Hughes, DH
Garrett Atkins, 1B
Cesar Izturis, SS
–David Hernandez, P
Another matchup with the Orioles is next on the docket, as John Lackey prepares to get his second look of the season at Baltimore’s lineup. Lackey labored a bit in his last outing against the Orioles, allowing 10 hits in seven innings of work, but he held the Birds to three runs, enabling the offense to do its job in a 7-6 Boston win.
David Hernandez gets the ball for the O’s, taking a 1-2 record and 5.40 ERA into Friday’s contest. The hard-throwing righty has served up seven homers to the Red Sox in just 25 innings, and his 11-to-12 K/BB ratio is underwhelming.
Stay tuned for the starting lineups and first pitch, scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Camden Yards.