Red Sox-Orioles Live: Chris Tillman Once Again Shines Versus Sox, O’s Prevail 3-2 in Series Finale

Shane VictorinoFinal, Orioles 3-2: The Red Sox put the leadoff man on in the ninth inning. But Jonny Gomes grounded into a double play, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out to end the ballgame.

Chris Tillman picks up his 15th win of the season, and he continues to be a thorn in Boston’s side. The right-hander gave up two runs on six hits in seven innings. He struck out eight and didn’t walk anyone.

Manny Machado knocked in Baltimore’s first two runs with a two-run double in the third inning. Chris Davis added the eventual winning run in the fifth inning with an RBI double.

Jon Lester lasted six innings for Boston. He gave up three runs on five hits while striking out four and walking three. Lester falls to 12-8 with the loss.

Despite the defeat, the Red Sox took two of three from the Orioles. Boston will open up a three-game series with the White Sox on Friday. Ryan Dempster will take the mound, and Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

Good night, everyone.

Mid 9th, Orioles 3-2: Craig Breslow retired Chris Davis in a big spot Wednesday. He did it again in the ninth inning of this game.

Breslow got Davis to ground out with two runners on. We’ll head to the bottom of the ninth inning with Baltimore clinging to a 3-2 lead.

Orioles closer Jim Johnson is coming in to pitch. He’s scheduled to face Daniel Nava, Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

10:22 p.m., Orioles 3-2: Craig Breslow will be asked to get the Red Sox out of a bit of a jam.

Brandon Workman walked Nate McLouth and Manny Machado before striking out Adam Jones for the second out of the ninth inning. Breslow enters with runners at first and second and two outs.

End 8th, Orioles 3-2: David Ortiz is now hitless in his last 22 at-bats.

Ortiz, who is 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, struck out in a big spot in the eighth inning. The Red Sox had the potential tying run on third base, but Brian Matusz won the lefty-lefty matchup to keep Baltimore’s 3-2 lead intact.

Tommy Hunter began the eighth inning for the Orioles, and Jacoby Ellsbury greeted him with a single into right field. Ellsbury then stole second base with Shane Victorino batting despite the O’s calling for a pitch-out. Ellsbury now has 50 stolen bases this season.

Victorino eventually struck out. Even before Ellsbury’s steal, there was an interesting play call, though. The Red Sox attempted a bunt-and-run, which is rather unconventional.

Dustin Pedroia was responsible for the inning’s second out. He flied out to right field, and Ellsbury tagged up and moved to third base, setting up the crucial showdown between Ortiz and Matusz.

Ortiz, as mentioned earlier, doesn’t have a hit since the Red Sox’ Aug. 18 game against the Yankees.

10:04 p.m., Orioles 3-2: Want to predict what is going to happen next? The MLB PrePlay app allows you to predict every play of every game. By correctly selecting the outcome of every at-bat in real time, you’re able to earn points.

Mid 8th, Orioles 3-2: Brandon Workman tossed a scoreless eighth inning, and Buck Showalter will now turn to the man whom the Red Sox got to on Wednesday, Tommy Hunter.

Workman walked J.J. Hardy with one out in the eighth, but Dustin Pedroia slowed the rally with a great defensive play. Nick Markakis yanked a sharp ground ball to the right side that Pedroia dived to stop.

Hardy took second on Markakis’ ground ball, but Workman induced a grounder to first base while facing Wilson Betemit, who pinch hit for Danny Valencia.

The top of the Red Sox’ order — which, of course, starts with Jacoby Ellsbury — will come up in the bottom of the eighth.

End 7th, Orioles 3-2: Chris Tillman has turned in another solid effort against the Red Sox.

Tillman kept his hiccups to a minimum, and if his night is indeed over, it ended on a positive note. The right-hander tossed a 1-2-3 seventh inning.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia started the seventh with a ground ball to first base, and Stephen Drew struck out swinging for the second out. Will MIddlebrooks threatened to shoot the right-center field gap with two down, but Nick Markakis ranged over to make a nice running grab.

Brandon Workman will pitch the eighth inning for Boston.

Mid 7th, Orioles 3-2: It wasn’t easy for Matt Thornton in the seventh inning. But he kept the Orioles off the scoreboard.

Thornton recorded two quick outs in the seventh, with the first coming on a terrific play by Jacoby Ellsbury. Brian Roberts almost dropped a base hit into center field, but Ellsbury — clearly not hindered by Wednesday’s foul ball off the foot — raced in to make a tumbling grab.

Manny Machado, who has made good contact all night, singled into left field with two outs. He then moved to second base when Thornton’s pitch kicked away from Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Adam Jones hit a slow roller down the third base line with two outs, at which point Machado took off for third. By the time Will Middlebrooks gobbled it up, he had no play at either base.

Thornton escaped the inning by getting the always dangerous Chris Davis to fly out to center.  Saltalamacchia, Stephen Drew and Middlebrooks are due up for Boston in the seventh.

The book is officially closed on Jon Lester. Lester gave up three earned runs on five hits over six innings. He struck out four, walked three and threw 112 pitches (67 strikes).

End 6th, Orioles 3-2: The Flyin’ Hawaiian continues to pack a punch.

Shane Victorino labeled a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning. Chris Tillman tried to hit the inside corner with a 3-1 fastball, and Victorino turned on it. It was an absolute bullet into the Monster Seats. You don’t want to go grabbing that with the bare hands.

Dustin Pedroia chased a pitch up and in for the first out, and David Ortiz ran his slump to 0-for-21 with a ground ball to second base.

Daniel Nava drilled a ball to the triangle with two down that kicked up over the fence for a ground-rule double. The Red Sox couldn’t push across the tying run, though, as Jonny Gomes grounded out to second base.

Victorino’s home run was his seventh this month and 12th of the season.

Mid 6th, Orioles 3-1: Jon Lester’s night is likely over. He wasn’t as sharp as his last few times out, but he kept the Red Sox in this game.

Lester tossed a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth, although he got a little help from Will Middlebrooks.

After J.J. Hardy skied a fly ball to left-center field, Nick Markakis hammered a hot shot to the left side. Middlebrooks didn’t have much time to react, but he made one step to his left and stretched out for a diving grab.

Lester struck out Danny Valencia looking on a cutter that caught the bottom of the strike zone for the third out.

End 5th, Orioles 3-1: Chris Tillman has really settled into a groove.

Tillman has now retired eight in a row after sitting down the Red Sox in order in the fifth.

Tillman, who struck out two in the fourth inning, fanned Will Middlebrooks in the fifth. The right-hander now has six K’s total, and he hasn’t walked a batter.

Stephen Drew led off the fifth inning with a flyout to deep right field. Jacoby Ellsbury ended the frame with a ground ball to third base.

Mid 5th, Orioles 3-1: It must be a special season for Chris Davis if he’s producing against Jon Lester.

Davis was 2-for-21 (.095) in his career against Lester before his fifth-inning at-bat, during which the slugger planted an RBI double off the Green Monster.

Nate McLouth and Manny Machado began the fifth inning with flyouts. Machado, who knocked in Baltimore’s first two runs, threatened to go deep, but his fly ball down the left field line sailed just to the left of the foul pole.

Adam Jones worked a five-pitch walk before Davis extended the Orioles’ lead.

End 4th, Orioles 2-1: Chris Tillman’s offspeed stuff was filthy in the fourth inning.

Tillman recorded two strikeouts and a groundout while retiring the Red Sox in order.

Nava and Saltalamacchia were Tillman’s two strikeout victims, and both went down on sick curveballs. Nava was absolutely frozen, and Salty went down hacking.

In between the two K’s, Jonny Gomes grounded out to third base.

Mid 4th, Orioles 2-1: Jon Lester rebounded from the two-run third inning to post a scoreless fourth.

J.J. Hardy flied out to right field and Lester struck out Nick Markakis swinging. Lester mixed up his pitches well while disposing Markakis.

Danny Valencia tried to stir up some two-out magic by doubling into the left field corner past a diving Will Middlebrooks. It was a fruitless effort, as Lester retired Brian Roberts, who smoked a hard ground ball right at Middlebrooks.

End 3rd, Orioles 2-1: The Red Sox failed to answer in the third inning.

Shane Victorino, who made a very nice running grab to avoid any additional damage in the top of the third, singled into center field with one out. He’s now 18 for his last 42 after starting this game 1-for-2.

That was all of the offense that Boston would muster up against Chris Tillman, though.

Tillman retired Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz on a pair of flyouts. Ortiz is now 0-for-20 over his last six games. He hasn’t recorded a hit since the Red Sox’ Aug. 18 game against the Yankees.

Mid 3rd, Orioles 2-1: Xander Bogaerts has been compared to Manny Machado all season. Red Sox fans should be happy about that, because Machado is one talented player.

Machado drilled a two-run double in the third inning to put the Orioles in front 2-1.

Danny Valencia started the inning by ripping a double into the left field corner. He was quickly wiped off the bases, however, as Dustin Pedroia made a heads-up — and aggressive — play.

Brian Roberts hit a sharp grounder to Pedroia, and Valencia took off on contact. Rather than taking the sure out, Pedroia fired to third base to nail Valencia.

Lester couldn’t use the out to his advantage. Nate McLouth reached, and Machado smoked the one-out two-bagger to plate both Roberts and McLouth.

Lester, to his credit, retired Chris Davis and Matt Wieters after Adam Jones reached on a little infield flair. Wieters sent one back toward the wall in right-center field, and Shane Victorino made a superb running catch to help minimize the third-inning damage.

End 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox jumped ahead in the second inning.

Daniel Nava led off the second with a double to left field, marking the second straight inning that the Red Sox had the leadoff man in scoring position. The difference was that Boston cashed in this time around.

Jonny Gomes struck out and Jarrod Saltalamacchia flied out to left field, casting some doubt over the Red Sox’ scoring chance. Stephen Drew made sure that Boston came away with something by ripping a two-out RBI single into right field.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: Jon Lester is off to a nice start.

Lester retired the Orioles in order in the second inning, although Baltimore put three balls in the air.

Matt Wieters started the inning by drilling a line drive to center field. It looked like it might have enough to get up over Jacoby Ellsbury’s head, but the speedy center fielder tracked it down on the run for out No. 1.

J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis then popped out in the infield for the second and third outs, respectively.

End 1st, 0-0: Jacoby Ellsbury found himself stranded in scoring position in the first inning.

Ellsbury knocked a slow roller to the left side of the infield that resulted in a leadoff single. He then moved up to second base when Chris Tillman uncorked a brutal wild pitch.

Tillman rebounded, though. He retired Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz in order to keep the game scoreless.

Victorino and Ortiz each struck out swinging, while Pedroia popped out along the first base line.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Jon Lester issued a one-out walk in the first inning. But he also brought it.

Lester walked Manny Machado after getting Nate McLouth to pop out. He then struck out Adam Jones and Chris Davis, which is obviously no easy task.

Lester dialed it up to 96 mph to fan Davis. He also went to the fastball to strike out Jones, and he showed excellent velocity during both at-bats.

Davis is now hitting .100 (2-for-20) in his career against Lester.

7:11 p.m.: Jon Lester’s first pitch is in there for a called strike. It’s 62 degrees. Let’s play some baseball.

6:56 p.m.: Don’t shoot the messenger, but Daniel Bard was apparently awful while pitching in Rookie Ball on Thursday.

Bard issued five walks, allowed four steals and threw two wild pitches in two thirds of an inning. Yikes.

“Velocity isn’t where he was when he was here for a brief time during spring training, and the fact that he’s on the mound is one step,” John Farrell said. “The power that needs to come from just being inactive and the consistency to execution, that’s still a work in progress right now,”

Work in progress, indeed.

6:49 p.m.: Mike Carp’s late scratch from the lineup was due to a sore shoulder, just so ya know. He’s listed as day-to-day.

6:42 p.m.: How about a couple of updates from the farm?

Pitcher Anthony Ranaudo was named to the 2013 Double-A Eastern League Year-End All-Star Team on Thursday. Ranaudo went 8-4 with a 2.95 ERA in 19 starts for the Seadogs before being promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Aug. 2.

6:11 p.m.: Red Sox pitchers had allowed two runs or fewer in five straight games going into Wednesday’s contest. The streak ended, but another streak is still alive.

Red Sox pitchers have surrendered three runs or fewer in each of their last eight games (1.78 ERA). The Sox haven’t done it in nine straight games since 2007.

6:02 p.m.: While gearing up for the game, be sure to check out the latest MLB podcast.

Me and fellow NESN.com extraordinaire Ben Watanabe discussed a number of topics, including Yasiel Puig getting benched, Brandon Phillips going nuts and Jacoby Ellsbury (eventually) getting paid.

Click here for an MLB podcast >>

5:26 p.m.: There’s been a lineup change.

Mike Carp will no longer be in the Red Sox’ starting lineup. Instead, Jonny Gomes will bat sixth and play left field while Daniel Nava shifts to first base.

The updated Boston lineup is below.

Red Sox (79-55)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Daniel Nava, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Will Middlebrooks, 3B

Jon Lester, LHP (12-7, 3.97 ERA)

5:02 p.m.: You may have noticed that Jacoby Ellsbury is in the starting lineup. That’s huge news for the Red Sox.

Ellsbury fouled a ball off his foot in the seventh inning of Wednesday’s game. He stayed in the contest, singled, stole second base and scored from second on Dustin Pedroia’s two-run single to left field, but Ellsbury was then replaced in the field prior to the eighth inning.

Ellsbury said after Wednesday’s game that he expected to be in Thursday’s lineup, and he’s a man of his word. It’s encouraging given not only his importance to the Red Sox this season, but also because Ellsbury is constantly trying to prove that he is actually a durable player.

4:55 p.m.: Mike Carp came through with a big pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth inning Wednesday. He won’t need to wait around Thursday, as he’s in the Red Sox’ starting lineup. Carp will play first base and bat sixth against Chris Tillman and Co.

Stephen Drew and Will Middlebrooks will man the left side of Boston’s infield Thursday, as rookie Xander Bogaerts, who got his first Fenway start Wednesday, returns to the bench.

Thursday’s complete lineups are below.

Red Sox (79-55)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Daniel Nava, LF
Mike Carp, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Will Middlebrooks, 3B

Jon Lester, LHP (12-7, 3.97 ERA)

Orioles (70-61)
Nate McLouth, LF
Manny Machado, 3B
Adam Jones, CF
Chris Davis, 1B
Matt Wieters, C
J.J. Hardy, SS
Nick Markakis, RF
Danny Valencia, DH
Brian Roberts, 2B

Chris Tillman, RHP (14-4, 3.66 ERA)

8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox keep winning in a variety of ways.

The Red Sox exploded for 13 runs in Tuesday’s series opener against the Orioles. On Wednesday, the Red Sox only scored one run in the first six innings before eventually rallying for a 4-3 victory that was capped by a Mike Carp pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth.

The Sox will send Jon Lester to the hill Thursday as they look to finish off a three-game sweep of the Orioles. Lester is just 1-2 against the O’s this season, but he’s 15-2 with a 2.72 ERA in 23 career starts against Baltimore. The left-hander has also been solid of late, posting a 1.23 ERA (thee earned runs in 22 innings) over his last three starts.

Thursday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN, and stick around with NESN.com’s live blog.

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