Red Sox-Orioles Live: Baserunning Blunder Cuts Baltimore’s Ninth-Inning Rally Short, Sox Hang on for 5-4 Win

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, David OrtizFinal, Red Sox 5-4: The Orioles made a ton of noise in the ninth inning, but the Red Sox held on — although it wasn’t without some help.

The Sox benefited from a boneheaded baserunning blunder to end the game. Ryan Flaherty, batting in a one-run game with a runner on first, lined out to Shane Victorino in right field. It was only the second out of the inning, but pinch-runner Alexi Casilla must have thought that there were already two outs, because he immediately took off running. While Casilla coasted into third base, Victorino easily tossed the ball to first base, where Mike Carp stepped on the bag to complete a game-ending double play.

The double play was huge, as Andrew Bailey got himself into a world of trouble in the ninth. Adam Jones singled into left field, and Matt Wieters went deep two batters later to make it a one-run ballgame. J.J. Hardy followed up Wieters’ long ball with a single before the unique double play closed the book on Boston’s win.

John Lackey picked up the victory for Boston after a very resilient performance. He gave up two runs on four hits in the first inning, but then bounced back to shut out the Orioles over the next six innings before handing the ball over to the bullpen.

Mike Carp and Jonny Gomes each went deep for the Sox, and Gomes’ sixth-inning blast — which made the score 5-2 at the time — ended up being the difference.

The win is a big one for the Red Sox, who dropped the first two games of the series. They’ll now look to salvage a split on Sunday, when the two teams battle beginning at 1:35 p.m.

Good night, everyone.

Mid 9th, Red Sox 5-2: Jose Iglesias tried to make something happen with two outs, but catcher Taylor Teagarden answered the call.

After Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded out and Stephen Drew struck out, Iglesias worked a walk. Iglesias then tried to steal second base, but Teagarden made an awesome throw to gun him down.

Andrew Bailey will now enter the ballgame with the Red Sox three outs away from their first win of this series.

End 8th, Red Sox 5-2: Koji Uehara should be extra fired up about this outing.

Uehara took over for John Lackey in the eighth inning, and he quickly struck out the side.

Nate McLouth, Manny Machado and Nick Markakis all went down by way of the K against Uehara, who showed his usual enthusiasm upon returning to the Red Sox’ dugout.

Andrew Bailey is warming up in Boston’s bullpen, and he’ll likely pitch the ninth inning. The Red Sox will look to add to their lead before that.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 5-2: The Red Sox went down quickly in the eighth inning.

T.J. McFarland sat down David Ortiz, Mike Carp and Jonny Gomes in order, and it required just nine pitches. Ortiz flied out, Carp grounded out and Gomes struck out.

Koji Uehara will pitch the eighth inning for Boston, meaning John Lackey’s day is officially done. You can’t say enough about his effort in this one, though.

Lackey settled down after a very shaky first inning that saw Baltimore grab a 2-0 lead. His outing ends after seven innings, during which he gave up just the two runs on seven hits. Lackey struck out four and walked one while throwing 101 pitches (61 strikes).

End 7th, Red Sox 5-2: John Lackey is through seven innings, which is a miracle considering how his start began.

J.J. Hardy singled into center field to lead off the seventh, but the Orioles can’t catch a break. Ryan Flaherty smoked a line drive, but it was right at Mike Carp, who made the play and stepped on first for the unassisted double play.

Lackey finished the inning by retiring Taylor Teagarden on a groundout to short.

That could do it for Lackey, who has thrown 101 pitches. But it was a heck of an outing. After giving up two runs on four hits in the first inning, Lackey shut out the Orioles while giving up just three hits over the next six innings.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 5-2: Shane Victorino’s body has really been beaten up this season.

Victorino shot a two-out single into right field, and he subsequently stole second base. While diving into second, however, Victorino appeared to smack his head off either the elbow or knee (perhaps both) of a crouched-down J.J. Hardy. John Farrell and the medical staff checked on Victorino, but it appears that he’s OK, and The Flyin’ Hawaiian will keep on flyin’.

Unfortunately for the Red Sox, they couldn’t make Victorino’s theft count. Dustin Pedroia grounded back to the mound to end the inning.

End 6th, Red Sox 5-2:  It’s been a resilient effort by John Lackey thus far.

Lackey gave up two runs on four hits in the first inning, and things really looked like they were on the verge of getting out of control. Somehow, the right-hander settled down, and he’s been very effective since.

Lackey retired the side in order in the sixth inning. He began the inning by striking out Adam Jones on a slider low and away, and he ended the inning by getting Chris Davis and Matt Wieters to fly out and ground out, respectively.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 5-2: Jonny Gomes drove a ball out of the yard, and drove Freddy Garcia from the game in the process.

Gomes crushed a 1-2 pitch over the center field fence with one out to extend Boston’s lead to 5-2. The home run was Gomes’ fourth of the season, and it forced the Orioles to turn to the bullpen.

T.J. McFarland took over for Garcia. He struck out both Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Stephen Drew.

End 5th, Red Sox 4-2: A rare defensive miscue by Dustin Pedroia opened the door for the Orioles. It didn’t stay open for very long, though.

Taylor Teagarden led off the inning with a sharply hit grounder to Jose Iglesias at third base. The ball ate up Iglesias, and Teagarden was able to reach on what was ruled a hit.

Pedroia’s miscue came on what had the potential to be a double-play ball. Nate McLouth hit a ground ball right at Pedroia, but it snuck past the sure-handed second baseman and into right field, allowing Teagarden to advance all the way to third base. The error was Pedroia’s first of the season.

The inning-changing play came with Manny Machado at the plate. McLouth, who is second in the American League in stolen bases, attempted to swipe second base, which would have put two runners in scoring position with no outs. Saltalamacchia delivered a perfect throw to second, though, and McLouth was gunned down while Teagarden was left standing at third.

Machado then hit a hard comebacker that John Lackey snagged. Lackey looked Teagarden back and fired to first for the second out.

Nick Markakis gave a ball a pretty good ride to left field with two down in the inning, but Jonny Gomes retreated to haul it in at the edge of the warning track.

Talk about a golden opportunity going by the board. The Orioles had a great chance to not only score, but also grab some momentum. Instead, the Red Sox escaped trouble, much to the delight of a fired up Lackey.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 4-2: The Red Sox played some small ball en route to adding a run in the fifth inning.

Jacoby Ellsbury led off the fifth by lining a first-pitch breaking ball into right field. He swiped second base moments later with Shane Victorino at the dish.

Following Ellsbury’s steal, Victorino dropped down a sacrifice bunt, which moved Ellsbury to within 90 feet of home plate.

Ellsbury scored when Dustin Pedroia grounded to shortstop J.J. Hardy for the second out of the inning.

A “let’s go Red Sox” chant started up at Camden Yards in the fifth inning, which forced Orioles fans to drown it out with boos.

End 4th, Red Sox 3-2: Orioles manager Buck Showalter might be walking on thin ice right now.

Showalter appeared to give home plate umpire Jeff Nelson an ear full during the fourth inning, which prompted Nelson to take off his mask and have a brief chat with the O’s skipper, who was shouting from the dugout. It’s unclear what Showalter was arguing about, but it may be in regards to the foul tip call that was made with Dustin Pedroia batting in the top of the fourth inning.

In terms of actual on-field action, John Lackey handled the fourth inning pretty well. He issued a two-out walk to J.J. Hardy on a borderline 3-2 pitch, but he made sure it didn’t snowball into anything further.

Mid 4th, Red Sox 3-2: The Red Sox’ offense finally broke out.

It took until the fourth inning, but after being shut down at the tail end of Thursday’s game and shut out in Friday’s game, the bats have come alive.

Dustin Pedroia nearly struck out on a 2-2 curveball in the dirt. It appeared that he swung and missed, but home plate umpire Jeff Nelson ruled that it was a foul tip, and Pedroia singled into center field on the next pitch.

David Ortiz then struck out swinging as Pedroia swiped second base — his 10th steal of the season. It didn’t matter where Pedroia was located on the bases, though, because Mike Carp blasted a two-run homer into the right field seats to tie the game.

Jonny Gomes and the Red Sox weren’t satisfied. Gomes hit a first-pitch single into left field and he scored two batters later.

After Jarrod Saltalamacchia flied out to deep center, Stephen Drew hit a ball right down the right field line. Gomes, who was hustling from the onset, managed to score all the way from first base. He crossed the plate with a head-first dive, and Drew took third base on the throw.

The Sox couldn’t add another run, as Jose Iglesias grounded to third base and stumbled over his bat while getting out of the box. The Red Sox will certainly take a three-run outburst, though.

End 3rd, Orioles 2-0: Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s defense, particularly as it pertains to throwing out runners, continues to improve.

Manny Machado went the other way with a first-pitch fastball for a leadoff single. But when he tried to swipe second base, Saltalamacchia made a perfect throw to gun him down.

John Lackey retired Nick Markakis and Adam Jones on a pair of popouts to end the inning.

Mid 3rd, Orioles 2-0: Jose Iglesias extended his hit streak to 16 games in the third inning.

Iglesias hit a little chopper to the left side. Shorstop J.J. Hardy charged in and tried to throw him out, but Iglesias got out of the box very quickly and he beat out Hardy’s toss at first base.

Freddy Garcia worked around the leadoff hit, though.

Jacoby Ellsbury, who is almost impossible to double-up because of his blazing speed, hit a hard ground ball right at second baseman Ryan Flaherty. It resulted in a 4-6-3 double play.

Garcia ended the inning by striking out Shane Victorino. Victorino chased a 1-2 splitter in the dirt.

End 2nd, Orioles 2-0: John Lackey settled down at the tail end of the first inning, and the momentum carried over into the second inning.

Lackey enjoyed a quick, 1-2-3 second. He struck out both Ryan Flaherty and Taylor Teagarden to begin the inning, and he got Nate McLouth to hit a slow roller to first base to end the inning.

Lackey struck out Flaherty looking on a good four-seam fastball. He got Teagarden to fan on a pitch down and away.

Mid 2nd, Orioles 2-0: The Red Sox’ offense actually got something going in the second inning, yet Boston has nothing to show for it.

David Ortiz started the inning with a triple — yes, a triple. He smoked a fly ball to center field that bounced off the wall, just out of the reach of a leaping Adam Jones. Because the ball ricocheted so far away from Jones, Ortiz coasted into third base.

Mike Carp followed up with a six-pitch walk to put runners at the corners with no outs. The Red Sox couldn’t cash in, though.

Jonny Gomes popped out to Chris Davis in foul territory along the first base line, Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out swinging and Stephen Drew popped out to his counterpart at short.

It’s now up to John Lackey to settle down after his shaky first inning.

End 1st, Orioles 2-0: The Orioles already had the Red Sox up against the ropes.

Nate McLouth started the first inning with a bang — right off John Lackey’s leg. McLouth drilled a comebacker that ricocheted off Lackey and over to short. The speedy outfielder reached easily with a leadoff single.

Manny Machado wasted no time in getting the O’s on the scoreboard. He yanked a pitch that was down and in right down the left field line for an RBI double.

The double was Machado’s major league-leading 31st of the season, and if you’re a fan of fun facts, you’ll dig this one. Entering Saturday’s game, Machado’s 30 doubles were the most all time for a 22-year-old through 68 games — more than Ted Williams’ 25 in 1939 and Joe DiMaggio’s 24 in 1936.

Nick Markakis added to Baltimore’s fun by singling into right field, and he moved up on a wild pitch from Lackey. Machado scored from third base when Adam Jones hit a slow ground ball to the left side that resulted in an infield single.

Lackey retired the next three hitters — Chris Davis, Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy. That’s huge considering how out of control the inning could have become. The Orioles will certainly take the two runs, though, especially since the Red Sox’ offense is struggling to do anything right now.

Mid 1st, 0-0: It seems like an eternity since the Red Sox last scored.

Freddy Garcia cruised through a 1-2-3 first inning, and the Sox are now in the midst of a 3-for-52 stretch.

Jacoby Ellsbury rolled an 0-2 changeup over to second base for the first out. Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia each popped out to shortstop J.J. Hardy in the middle of the infield.

John Lackey now punches in.

4:06 p.m.: Freddy Garcia’s first-pitch curveball is a strike. Late-day baseball has officially begun.

3:42 p.m.: This is a pretty big start for John Lackey.

While it’s still early in the season, Lackey has a chance to play the role of stopper. A good outing would certainly be very encouraging for the Red Sox, who suddenly find themselves with questions in the rotation.

Jon Lester has been struggling of late, and it now appears that Clay Buchholz, who has been battling neck stiffness, will not be ready for Tuesday’s start.

“Clay threw today, feels a little bit better than he did yesterday, but not the point where he’s going to throw a bullpen tomorrow,” manager John Farrell told reporters in Baltimore. “What we do have is the benefit of the off-day where we can keep guys on turn with Felix [Doubront] going on Tuesday, [Ryan] Dempster Wednesday and stay on turn from there. Right now, we haven’t announced the other starter for Tuesday.”

Lackey has had a very solid season, allowing two runs or fewer in eight of his 10 starts. That’s very good production, especially for a back-end starter, but Lackey really has a chance to flex his muscle against a tough Orioles lineup on Saturday.

2:12 p.m.: How long can Jose Iglesias keep up his current tear?

Iglesias, who is in Saturday’s starting lineup, had two of Boston’s three hits on Friday. He has now hit safely in a career-high 15 straight games with an at-bat, hitting .444 (24-for-54) in that span.

Iglesias’ emergence and Xander Bogaerts’ promotion from Double-A to Triple-A really mean that Will Middlebrooks and Stephen Drew are under more pressure to produce. To read more about that, check out the link below.

Click here to read about the Red Sox’ infield situation >>

1:44 p.m.: Lineups here!

Mike Napoli, who left Thursday’s game because of illness, will miss his second straight game. Mike Carp will start at first base and bat fifth.

Jonny Gomes, playing left field and batting sixth, will also be in the lineup, while Daniel Nava will get the day off. Will Middlebrooks will sit, with Jose Iglesias and Stephen Drew manning third base and shortstop, respectively.

Saturday’s complete lineups are below.

Red Sox (41-28)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Carp, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Jose Iglesias, 3B

John Lackey, RHP (3-5, 3.14 ERA)

Orioles (39-29)
Nate McLouth, LF
Manny Machado, 3B
Nick Markakis, RF
Adam Jones, CF
Chris Davis, 1B
Matt Wieters, DH
J.J. Hardy, SS
Ryan Flaherty, 2B
Taylor Teagarden, C

Freddy Garcia, RHP (3-3, 4.47 ERA)

8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox have put together a tremendous season. There’s no denying that. Against the Orioles, however, life hasn’t been so easy.

Chris Tillman and three others shut out the Red Sox on Friday night, and Baltimore has now taken four of five from Boston this season, including two straight to kick off the current four-game set. John Lackey will be the one tasked with stopping the bleeding on Saturday.

Fortunately for the Red Sox, they’ll be in much better shape for Saturday’s game than they were for Friday’s game. Not only did the Sox lose on Thursday, but the game lasted 13 innings and the bullpen pitched eight of those innings. The lengthy night for the ‘pen was the second in four nights, as Boston also played 14 innings on Monday, during which Red Sox relievers combined to throw 8 1/3 innings. In other words, the Sox really needed a quality start from Ryan Dempster, and the veteran provided just that, working into the eighth inning despite the 2-0 loss.

But a rested bullpen won’t mean much unless the Red Sox’ offense shows up on Saturday. The Sox’ bats were shut down on Friday, although they had a few chances early on because of four walks by Tillman. Perhaps the lackluster display by Boston’s offense was a carry-over from Thursday, when Baltimore’s bullpen provided 6 1/3 perfect innings at the end of the game before Chris Davis’ single sent O’s fans home happy.

On Saturday, Lackey will go up against veteran Freddy Garcia, who owns a 10-4 record and 4.51 ERA in 25 career games (22 starts) against the Red Sox. This season, the 36-year-old Garcia is 3-3 with a 4.47 ERA overall.

Saturday’s action is scheduled to kick off at 4:05 p.m. It’ll be a perfect appetizer to Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, so tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with NESN.com.

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