Final, Orioles 6-0: The shutout is complete.
Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless ninth inning, and the Orioles take the first game of the series, 6-0.
Chris Tillman pitched the first seven innings for the O’s, and he was superb. The right-hander allowed just two hits while striking out eight and completely controlling the game.
The Orioles’ offense was powered by four home runs, including two opposite-field shots by Adam Jones. Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy also went deep in the victory.
John Lackey went 6 1/3 innings and struggled. He surrendered five earned runs on nine hits, including three homers, while suffering his second consecutive loss. His record now stands at 7-8.
The Red Sox’ offense was anemic Friday, and it isn’t the first time that’s been the case since the All-Star break. The Sox were also shut out Monday, and they scored just one run in Wednesday’s loss.
The Red Sox and Orioles will square off again Saturday, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET. Ryan Dempster is scheduled to go up against Scott Feldman.
Good night, everyone.
End 8th, Orioles 6-0: The Orioles are teeing off.
J.J. Hardy drilled a two-out home run down the left field line, and Baltimore’s lead is 6-0.
Drake Britton began the eighth inning by striking out Chris Davis. The Red Sox then turned to Jose De La Torre, who surrendered the long ball.
Hardy’s home run hooked just inside the left-field foul pole, and it was his 18th blast of the season.
Jim Johnson will try to record the final three outs of the game for Baltimore.
Mid 8th, Orioles 5-0: Tommy Hunter took over in the eighth inning, and he picked up right where Chris Tillman left off.
Jacoby Ellsbury singled into center field for his second hit of the game, but Hunter made sure it didn’t ignite any Boston rally.
Hunter got Shane Victorino to fly out following Ellsbury’s one-out single. He then got Dustin Pedroia to ground to third base, where Manny Machado made the play and tossed to second for a forceout.
Jose De La Torre has been warming up in the Red Sox’ bullpen, but Drake Britton will begin the eighth inning with the left-handed hitting Chris Davis due up.
Tillman tossed seven shutout innings before departing. He only gave up two hits, and he struck out eight.
End 7th, Orioles 5-0: Drake Britton retired both hitters he faced in the seventh inning.
Britton came on after John Lackey gave up a one-out home run to Manny Machado, and he retired both Nick Markakis and Adam Jones. Markakis grounded out to first, and Jones, who has homered twice, struck out swinging.
Lackey allowed five runs (all earned) on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out two, walked one and surrendered three long balls while throwing 105 pitches (63 strikes).
9:16 p.m., Orioles 5-0: John Lackey’s last pitch landed in the left-field seats.
Manny Machado ripped a one-out, line-drive home run over the left-field fence, and that will end Lackey’s night.
The Red Sox will turn to rookie Drake Britton with one out in the seventh inning.
Mid 7th, Orioles 4-0: That was probably Chris Tillman’s last inning, as he’s up to 115 pitches. If it was, it capped a tremendous start by the right-hander.
Tillman retired Daniel Nava, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Stephen Drew in order in the seventh inning. Nava struck out — giving Tillman eight K’s for the game — and Saltalamacchia and Drew each grounded out.
The Red Sox’ offense, which has struggled a bit of late, has mustered up just two hits thus far.
John Lackey will come back out to begin the bottom of the seventh inning, although Drake Britton is warming up in the Red Sox’ bullpen.
End 6th, Orioles 4-0: John Farrell got a little upset with home plate umpire Laz Diaz in the sixth inning, but things eventually calmed down and the Orioles didn’t score.
John Lackey retired the first two hitters he faced in the sixth. Matt Wieters popped out to third base, and J.J. Hardy flied out to center field.
Henry Urrutia reached, however, by hitting a little dribbler up along the first base line. Lackey came off the mound, picked it up and tossed to first, but his throw sailed past Mike Napoli, allowing Urrutia to advance to second base.
Farrell came out following the play to contest that Urrutia wasn’t in the base line while running to first base. Farrell has a point, as it looked like Urrutia was running on the infield grass. In any event, Lackey should have ignored Urrutia. Urrutia would have been out if Lackey hit him with a throw while he was running out of the base line.
The strange play didn’t lead to anything on the scoreboard. Brian Roberts popped out in foul territory to end the inning.
Mid 6th, Orioles 4-0: Chris Tillman tossed six shutout innings the last time he faced the Red Sox. He’s at that point right now.
Tillman picked up two strikeouts in the sixth, and he has seven K’s total. The right-hander is up to 105 pitches, though, so the Red Sox should soon get a crack at Baltimore’s bullpen.
Tillman’s pitch count is relatively high because of battles like the one put up by David Ortiz in the sixth inning. Ortiz saw 10 pitches, although it ended with him striking out on a high fastball. (Jarrod Saltalamacchia also had a 10-pitch at-bat in the fourth inning.)
Tillman struck out Mike Napoli for the third out. Napoli has fanned twice in this game.
End 5th, Orioles 4-0: Adam Jones hit an opposite-field home run. (No, this is not a repeat of the first inning.)
Jones lifted a 1-0 fastball from John Lackey over the right field wall for his second home run of the game. Jones, who now has 22 homers this season, also went deep to right field back in the first inning.
Baltimore’s lead grew in the fifth, but it wasn’t before some flashy defense by Jose Iglesias. Nick Markakis hit a popup down the left-field line in foul territory with one out, and Iglesias gave chase. Iglesias finally caught up to it, but he was forced to make an over-the-shoulder grab to complete the out. It was a very impressive display of range and concentration.
Mid 5th, Orioles 3-0: Jacoby Ellsbury continues to swing the bat well.
Ellsbury, who entered the game with an AL-best .362 average since May 26, doubled down the right-field line with two outs in the fifth inning. He has now hit safely in 37 of his last 45 games.
The Red Sox couldn’t get on the scoreboard, though, as Shane Victorino followed Ellsbury’s double with a flyout to deep center.
Chris Tillman twice thought he had Victorino struck out on borderline pitches before finally retiring the outfielder.
End 4th, Orioles 3-0: The Red Sox cut down a run at the plate.
J.J. Hardy walked with one out in the fourth inning, and Henry Urrutia made it first and second with a single into left field.
Brian Roberts looked to knock in Baltimore’s fourth run with a base hit into right field, but Shane Victorino threw out Hardy at home. Victorino delivered a good throw for his team-leading seventh outfield assist, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia swept a tag across Hardy’s shoulder.
John Lackey got out of the inning by getting Nate McLouth to fly out into shallow center field. Multiple players converged on the fly ball, but Jacoby Ellsbury hauled it in.
It’s worth noting that Lackey slipped off the mound while facing Matt Wieters to begin the fourth inning. That brought out John Farrell and the Red Sox’ trainer, but Lackey appears to be just fine.
Mid 4th, Orioles 3-0: Walks got Chris Tillman into some trouble in the first inning. A two-out walk didn’t make life too difficult for the right-hander in the fourth inning.
David Ortiz began the fourth by popping out to Manny Machado in foul territory along the third base line, and Tillman then struck out Mike Napoli.
Tillman walked Daniel Nava with two down, but he bounced back to strike out Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Salty put up a good battle, as he saw 10 pitches and fouled off two payoff offerings. But Tillman eventually pulled the string and fanned him with a changeup.
End 3rd, Orioles 3-0: Nate McLouth started the inning with a bang.
McLouth tripled on the frame’s first pitch. John Lackey tried to get ahead of McLouth with a curveball, and the Orioles’ leadoff man drilled it toward the right-center field gap. Jacoby Ellsbury raced over in an attempt to make a running grab, but the ball bounced off his glove. That allowed the speedy McLouth to cruise all the way to third base.
Manny Machado drove in McLouth with a ground ball back up the middle. Lackey battled back to make the count full after falling behind, 3-0, but Machado reached out and poked a cutter into center field.
The first out of the inning came when Nick Markakis grounded down to first base. Mike Napoli fielded it, stepped on the bag and tossed to second base. His throw was off the mark, though, and Machado slid in safely.
Lackey avoided any additional damage in the inning by retiring both Adam Jones and Chris Davis. Jones grounded out to third, and Davis flied out to center.
Mid 3rd, Orioles 2-0: Chris Tillman has retired seven straight since loading the bases with two outs in the first inning.
Jacoby Ellsbury, who sent one to the warning track back in the first, struck out to begin the third inning.
Tillman then induced a pair of groundouts while facing Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia. Victorino grounded to J.J. Hardy at short, and Pedroia chopped one down to Chris Davis at first.
End 2nd, Orioles 2-0: John Lackey — like Chris Tillman — bounced back for a smooth second inning.
J.J. Hardy began the inning by lining out to Daniel Nava in left field, and Henry Urrutia grounded out for the second out.
Brian Roberts then tried to shoot one up the middle, but John Lackey grabbed it while falling back on his heels. Lackey fired to first for the third out.
Mid 2nd, Orioles 2-0: Chris Tillman didn’t waste any time mowing down the Red Sox in the second inning.
An inning after escaping a bases-loaded jam, Tillman retired the side in order.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Stephen Drew and Jose Iglesias — Boston’s bottom three — each flied out.
End 1st, Orioles 2-0: The Orioles are in the midst of a three-game losing streak. Adam Jones is doing his part to turn around their fortunes.
Jones sent a 1-1 pitch over the right field wall for a two-run homer in the first inning, and Baltimore has jumped out to an early lead.
John Lackey got two quick outs by striking out Nate McLouth and getting Manny Machado to pop out. But Nick Markakis kept the inning alive with a single into left field, and Jones put the O’s on the scoreboard with his 21st blast of the season.
Chris Davis singled past the shift to lengthen the inning a bit more. Matt Wieters then put up a 10-pitch battle, but it ended with a flyout to left.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Daniel Nava’s playing time since the All-Star break has been sporadic. He had a chance to come through in the first inning, but Chris Tillman escaped a major jam with a big strikeout.
Tillman got two outs very quickly in the first. Jacoby Ellsbury sent one to the warning track in left-center field, but Adam Jones flagged it down before bumping into the wall. Then, Shane Victorino lined out to left fielder Nate McLouth on the second pitch he saw.
From there, the Red Sox got something going, and it started with the new $110 million man. Dustin Pedroia singled into left field before Tillman issued back-to-back walks to David Ortiz and Mike Napoli.
In other words, Tillman pitched himself into trouble. But to his credit, he also pitched himself out of trouble, as he struck out Nava on three pitches. Tillman set up Nava with a curveball before slipping a 92 mph fastball by him to pick up the K.
The Red Sox are 42-9 this year when scoring first. That’s an .824 winning percentage, which is the best mark in the majors. I’d say that was an important escape for Tillman.
7:07 p.m.: Chris Tillman’s first pitch misses outside for a ball. The action is underway in the Charm City.
7:01 p.m.: The Red Sox have struggled against the Orioles, but they’ll need to solve those issues down the stretch.
The Orioles went 13-5 against the Red Sox in 2012, and they’re 5-2 against Boston this season. The two teams will square off 12 more times in 2013, meaning that over 20 percent of the Red Sox’ remaining games are against the O’s.
The Orioles are the only AL East team that the Red Sox have a losing record against this year. The Red Sox have lost eight of their last 10 games in Baltimore overall.
6:12 p.m.: Happy birthday, Greg Colbrunn. The Red Sox hitting coach is 44 years young.
6:03 p.m.: David Ortiz enters Friday’s game with a team-high 19 home runs, which means he’s one dinger shy of recording his 12th 20-home run season. It will mark his 11th 20-homer season with the Red Sox, which will tie Dwight Evans and Jim Rice for the second-most in franchise history behind Ted Williams’ 16.
Ortiz is having a tremendous season. To see how it compares with Williams’ legendary 1941 campaign, be sure to check out BostonFanFavorites.com.
5:54 p.m.: Daniel Nava will return to the Red Sox’ lineup Friday. Nava has only played in one of the last four games, and he was scheduled to sit out Thursday’s series finale against the Rays before it got rained out.
Jonny Gomes has been given more of an opportunity lately, and John Farrell said that matchups have dictated his lineup decisions. Gomes is typically tough on lefties, and the Red Sox faced two against the Rays in Matt Moore and David Price. The Sox will face right-hander Chris Tillman on Friday.
Friday’s complete lineups are below.
Red Sox (61-42)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Jose Iglesias, 3B
John Lackey, RHP (7-7, 2.95 ERA)
Nate McLouth, LF
Manny Machado, 3B
Nick Markakis, RF
Adam Jones, CF
Chris Davis, 1B
Matt Wieters, C
J.J. Hardy, SS
Henry Urrutia, DH
Brian Roberts, 2B
Chris Tillman, RHP (12-3, 3.84 ERA)
8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox escaped Boston with a division lead intact — perhaps with a little help from Mother Nature.
The Red Sox and Rays had their crucial series finale washed out Thursday, which kept Boston’s lead in the AL East at a half game heading into Friday’s action. The Sox will now open up a three-game series with the Orioles down in Baltimore.
The Red Sox reshuffled their rotation a bit in the wake of Thursday’s rainout, but John Lackey will still toe the rubber in Boston’s next game. He carries a 7-7 record and 2.95 ERA into Friday’s contest, and he’ll be opposed by Chris Tillman, who has been great this season. Tillman is 12-3 with a 3.84 ERA, and he pitched six shutout innings against the Red Sox on June 14.
Ryan Dempster and Jon Lester will be the other two Red Sox starters in the club’s weekend series in Baltimore. Dempster will go Saturday, while Lester will pitch Sunday’s finale. Felix Doubront will then pitch the makeup game against the Rays on Monday, while Brandon Workman will open up the Red Sox’ home series against the Mariners on Tuesday. John Farrell said that Workman will be available out of the bullpen Friday and Saturday since he’s now not starting until Tuesday.
Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with NESN.com’s live blog.