Final, Orioles 5-3: Jarrod Saltalamacchia led off the 12th inning with a single into right field, but the Red Sox couldn’t create much magic beyond that base hit.
The Orioles, who pushed across the winning run in the ninth inning Tuesday, won in dramatic fashion again Wednesday. Chris Davis’ two-run, two-out single in the 12th was the difference.
Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks each had three hits for the Red Sox, who spoiled a few good scoring chances. Their biggest missed opportunity came in the third inning, when Boston couldn’t score despite loading the bases with no outs.
Jake Peavy went seven innings for Boston. He gave up three runs on six hits while striking out eight and walking one. The right-hander had good stuff — evident by the eight K’s — but he stumbled a bit toward the end of his outing.
The Red Sox could have clinched a playoff spot with a win, as the Indians lost to the Royals 7-2. Boston’s magic number to win the AL East stays at three, as Tampa Bay rallied to take down Texas in 12 innings.
John Lackey and Chris Tillman will face off in the series finale on Thursday. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.
Good night, everyone.
Mid 12th, Orioles 5-3: Franklin Morales was one strike away from escaping a bases-loaded jam. Chris Davis won the battle, though.
Davis smacked a two-run single into center field with two outs in the 12th inning to give the Orioles a 5-3 advantage.
Morales ran into trouble when J.J. Hardy and Brian Roberts hit back-to-back singles. They each moved up a station when a ball in the dirt got away from Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and the Red Sox opted to intentionally walk Steve Pearce with first base open.
Manny Machado popped out into foul territory with the bases loaded for the second out, but Morales couldn’t put away Davis.
End 11th, 3-3: The Red Sox left the potential winning run in scoring position in the 11th inning.
Mike Carp, who pinch hit for Jonny Gomes back in the eighth inning, led off with an infield single. Brian Roberts charged Carp’s slow roller to second base and couldn’t handle it.
John Farrell then made a strange decision after inserting Quintin Berry as a pinch runner for Carp. Daniel Nava dropped down a sacrifice bunt on the first pitch, which begs the question, “Why wasn’t Berry given a chance to try to steal second base upon entering?”
Berry moved up into scoring position on the sacrifice bunt, but the Orioles were then able to intentionally walk Will Middlebrooks to set up a lefty-lefty matchup between T.J. McFarland and Stephen Drew. Oh yeah, by the way, Drew had been 0-for-6 with five strikeouts in his career versus McFarland.
The whole thing played right into the Orioles’ hands, as Drew grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Mid 11th, 3-3: Franklin Morales did a nice job in the 11th.
Morales took care of Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Danny Valencia in order to keep the game tied 3-3.
Jones grounded to second base, Markakis flied out to left field and Valencia popped out in the middle of the infield.
Mike Carp, Daniel Nava and Will Middlebrooks are due up in the last of the 11th inning. They’ll take their cuts against T.J. McFarland.
End 10th, 3-3: The Red Sox spoiled another leadoff single.
Will Middlebrooks started the ninth inning with a base hit before Boston’s offense sputtered. In the 10th inning, it was Shane Victorino who singled to kick off the frame.
Victorino, who was nearly hit in the face with a pitch earlier in the at-bat, dropped a single into left-center field. He took a wide turn around first base before tossing on the brakes.
The threat was quickly erased, though. David Ortiz hit a ground ball to the right side of second base. Shortstop J.J. Hardy, who was pulled over because of the shift, made the play and flipped to third baseman Manny Machado, who covered second base. It was an unorthodox 6-5-3 double play.
Mike Napoli ended the inning with a flyout to left-center field.
Franklin Morales will take over for Boston in the 11th inning. He’s still carving out a role in the Red Sox’ bullpen, so it’ll be interesting to see how he handles this high-leverage situation.
Mid 10th, 3-3: It’s time to build a new scoreless streak.
Koji Uehara worked a perfect 10th inning upon entering the game. The Red Sox’ offense will now come up with another chance to win it with the score tied.
Nate McLouth started the 10th with a line drive right at Dustin Pedroia at second base. It was hit hard, but Pedroia didn’t have much trouble making the play.
Manny Machado struck out swinging for the second out. Machado saw three pitches and went down on an off-balance hack at a splitter.
Chris Davis lifted a high fly ball to center field with two outs that Shane Victorino easily handled for the third out.
Victorino, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli are due up for Boston in the 10th inning.
End 9th, 3-3: Will Middlebrooks led off the ninth inning with a single, but nothing materialized from there.
Tommy Hunter was the new Orioles pitcher in the ninth, and Middlebrooks greeted him with a line drive into right-center field. Hunter retired the next three hitters in order.
Stephen Drew drilled a ground ball to first base. Chris Davis made the play and tossed to second base, but the Orioles were unable to spin a double play. Davis’ throw was a little off the mark.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia pinch hit for David Ross and struck out swinging for the second out.
The inning ended with Dustin Pedroia hitting a sharp line drive to right field that hung up long enough for Nick Markakis to make a play.
To extras, we go. Koji Uehara will pitch the 10th inning for Boston one night after his impressive streaks came to an end.
The Red Sox are 10-5 in extra-inning games this season, including 4-1 at home.
Mid 9th, 3-3: Junichi Tazawa enjoyed a perfect top of the ninth inning. The Red Sox’ offense will now come up with a chance to win it.
Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy and Brian Roberts went down in order in the ninth inning. Wieters struck out looking on a pitch located on the inside corner, and Hardy and Roberts both grounded out.
Will Middlebrooks, Stephen Drew and David Ross are due up for the Red Sox in the ninth.
End 8th, 3-3: Kevin Gausman came out for another inning and was impressive.
Gausman struck out the side. All three strikeouts came with the batter going down swinging.
Mike Napoli, Mike Carp and Daniel Nava went down hacking in the eighth against Gausman, who compiled five strikeouts in two innings of work.
Carp, who pinch hit for Jonny Gomes in the eighth, will remain in the game in left field.
Junichi Tazawa will start the ninth inning for Boston after recording the final out of the eighth.
Mid 8th, 3-3: Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa combined to keep the O’s scoreless in the eighth.
Breslow started the inning and recorded back-to-back outs to kick things off. Chris Davis flied out to left field and Adam Jones grounded down to third base.
Nick Markakis kept the frame alive with a ground ball back up the middle and into center field. John Farrell decided to turn to the right-hander Tazawa at that point.
Tazawa got locked in an eight-pitch battle with Danny Valencia. Valencia ended up hitting the ball hard, but it was right at Daniel Nava in right field for the third out.
End 7th, 3-3: Kevin Gausman took over in the seventh inning and retired the side in order.
Gausman needed just five pitches to record two outs. Dustin Pedroia struck out looking on a pitch on the outside corner and Shane Victorino followed with a first-pitch flyout to center field.
David Ortiz failed to hold up on a 1-1 pitch and fell behind in the count, 1-2. He battled by fouling off three straight pitches, but Gasuman ultimately struck him out with a 98 mph fastball.
Craig Breslow will start the eighth inning for Boston after seven innings from Jake Peavy.
Peavy gave up three earned runs on six hits in his seven innings. He struck out eight and walked one while throwing 113 pitches (75 strikes).
Mid 7th, 3-3: Jake Peavy bounced back nicely in the seventh inning after getting touched up with two outs in the sixth.
Brian Roberts and Nate McLouth both put the ball on the ground. Roberts grounded down to first base and McLouth grounded to second base.
Manny Machado lifted a fly ball to left field and Jonny Gomes easily camped under it for out No. 3.
End 6th, 3-3: Mike Napoli answered in a big way.
Napoli crushed a solo homer to straightaway center field to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Napoli now has 23 homers this season, and he hasn’t been getting cheated. This one was another absolute shot.
That was the only damage Boston did in the sixth inning, although the Sox threatened for more.
Will Middlebrooks and Stephen Drew picked up back-to-back singles with two outs to chase starter Wei-Yin Chen. Chen was replaced by Francisco Rodriguez, and K-Rod took care of David Ross to exit the inning.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter came out to contest a call in the sixth inning, as it looked like Middlebrooks had been picked off second base. Tim Timmons called Middlebrooks safe, though, Showalter didn’t agree.
Mid 6th, Orioles 3-2: The Orioles hit the ball hard while grabbing a lead in the sixth inning.
Jake Peavy got two quick outs. Chris Davis hammered a line drive to deep right field that Daniel Nava hauled in on the edge of the warning track, and Adam Jones drilled a comebacker that deflected off Peavy and over to Stephen Drew, who tossed to first base for the second out.
Peavy found himself in trouble with two down, though, as Nick Markakis and Danny Valencia struck back-to-back singles.
Matt Wieters, who already had one RBI double to his credit, added another one. He ripped a double to right field in the sixth inning that plated Markakis with Baltimore’s third run.
End 5th, 2-2: David Ortiz left a runner on third base in the fifth inning.
Dustin Pedroia connected on his 40th double of the season with one out. He slapped a ball off the left field wall and hustled out of the box to slide in safely with a two-bagger.
Pedroia moved up to third base when Shane Victorino grounded to first base. Ortiz couldn’t cash in, though. He struck out swinging to end the inning.
Mid 5th, 2-2: Jake Peavy stumbled for the first time in the fifth inning.
Danny Valencia singled to lead off the fifth, and Matt Wieters drove him in with a lined shot over Shane Victorino’s head in center field. It was similar to Valencia’s triple in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s game, as Victorino raced back onto the warning back while coming up just short on an over-the-shoulder bid.
J.J. Hardy followed Wieters’ double with a ground ball to short that Stephen Drew played on the run. Wieters took third base on the groundout.
Brian Roberts tied the score at two apiece with an RBI double of his own. He ripped a line drive into the left-center field gap to plate Wieters with Baltimore’s second run.
Peavy struck out Nate McLouth and got Manny Machado to pop out into center field to end the inning and leave Roberts at second base. The Orioles have seized some momentum, though, and the Red Sox must really be kicking themselves for not taking advantage of their bases-loaded, no-out situation in the third inning.
End 4th, Red Sox 2-0: Wei-Yin Chen enjoyed a 1-2-3 fourth inning.
Daniel Nava hit a ball on the screws to lead things off. It was right back at Chen and the left-hander snagged it, drawing some ooh’s from the Fenway Faithful.
Will Middlebrooks and Stephen Drew ended the inning with flyouts to right field and left field, respectively.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 2-0: The Orioles don’t have a good handle on Laz Diaz’s strike zone right now.
Jake Peavy struck out two more hitters looking in the fourth, as Manny Machado and Chris Davis went down for the first two outs of the inning. Peavy has seven strikeouts total and five have involved called third strikes.
Peavy plunked Adam Jones on the back side with two down in the fourth. Jones then moved up to second base on a balk.
Nick Markakis couldn’t cash in with a runner in scoring position. He flied out to end the inning.
End 3rd, Red Sox 2-0: The Red Sox missed out on a golden opportunity.
Boston loaded the bases with no outs in the third inning, as Dustin Pedroia, Shane Victorino and David Ortiz reached on three consecutive singles that were all very different in nature.
Pedroia led off with a base hit into center field. Victorino pushed a bunt up the first base line and beat out Wei-Yin Chen’s throw. Ortiz smoked a line drive that hit off Chris Davis’ glove.
Mike Napoli, who has three grand slams to his credit this season, came up with the bases juiced and drilled a line drive to short on the sixth pitch of the at-bat. It just didn’t have enough elevation to get into left field, as J.J. Hardy made a leaping grab.
Jonny Gomes ended the inning with a double play. He hit a 1-2 pitch back to the mound. Chen made the play and fired home to start a 1-2-3 twin killing.
If this game remains close in the later innings, we could look back at the third inning as a key moment.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 2-0: The Orioles got their first baserunner in the third inning. Other than that, it was more of the same from Jake Peavy.
Peavy recorded two outs in the air to begin the third. Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy flied out to right field and center field, respectively.
Peavy tried to put Brian Roberts away with a few fastballs after Baltimore’s second baseman evened the count, 2-2. Roberts fouled off a couple of pitches, though, and ultimately walked when Peavy missed with a cutter.
The walk didn’t hurt Peavy. He struck out Nate McLouth to end the inning, giving the right-hander five K’s thus far.
End 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: Will Middlebrooks singled to lead off the bottom of the second inning. That’s where Boston’s offense stopped this time around.
Stephen Drew struck out looking on a perfect pitch down the heart of the plate for the first out.
David Ross ended the inning by grounding into a double play. Manny Machado charged in to make the play and then delivered a strong throw to second base. Brian Roberts was forced to hurry his throw, but it was good enough for Chris Davis to scoop for the out. Good turn all around by the O’s.
Jake Peavy heads back to the mound with four strikeouts through two innings.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: Jake Peavy is working at his usual brisk pace. And he has taken care of business in the first two innings.
Peavy tossed another perfect frame in the second. He once again picked up two strikeouts and now has four K’s total.
Peavy first struck out Adam Jones swinging. Then, he froze Nick Markakis with a fastball on the inside black.
Danny Valencia, who was responsible for breaking Koji Uehara’s consecutive batters retired streak Tuesday, grounded to short to end the inning.
End 1st, Red Sox 2-0: Majestic.
That might be the best word to describe David Ortiz’s first-inning home run.
Shane Victorino singled with one out. Ortiz then jumped on the first pitch he saw from Wei-Yin Chen to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.
Ortiz absolutely crushed Chen’s offering. It was hit a mile into the air and landed about 10 rows deep in right field — to the right of the 380-foot marker. Ortiz now has 28 homers this season. (For more on Ortiz’s season, check out BostonFanFavorites.com.)
Jonny Gomes added a bloop single into right field in the first inning before Chen got out of the frame.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Jake Peavy struck out two while tossing a scoreless first inning.
Peavy started his night off by striking out Nate McLouth. McLouth lasted just three pitches and went down looking at a fastball.
Will Middlebrooks, who has returned from a battle with the flu, made a nice play for the second out. Manny Machado hit a high chopper down to third base that Middlebrooks leaped to grab before tossing across the diamond.
Chris Davis, who went deep in Tuesday’s game, ripped a line drive down the right field line with two outs. There’s hardly any foul territory down in that corner, but Davis found some. Peavy ended up striking out Davis on the next pitch.
7:12 p.m.: Jake Peavy’s first pitch is a strike. We’re underway at Fenway Park.
6:58 p.m.: The Red Sox can clinch a playoff spot with a win and an Indians loss. If they do clinch a spot Wednesday, don’t expect too much of a celebration, though.
“Our stated goal in spring training was to win the division,” John Farrell said. “Just getting in, there will be an acknowledgement and maybe something we’ll share as a group, but I would not want that to be the pinnacle, by any means.”
6:46 p.m.: You may or may not be aware of the “Boston’s Best Newcomer” tournament that is currently running on NESN.com. It’s aimed at determining which of the Red Sox’ 2013 additions best embodies Boston baseball.
We’re down to the final four — Koji Uehara, Shane Victorino, Stephen Drew and Jake Peavy. Cast your Round 2 votes and check out the Round 1 results at the links below.
6:14 p.m.: John Farrell said Wednesday that he could see the Red Sox carrying 11 pitchers into the postseason.
“Everything points to us going with 11 pitchers,” Farrell said on WEEI’s Salk & Holley. “So we just by virtue of the schedule are going to drop down to four starters. That’s going to cause some decisions. … We’ll get to that point in due time.”
It remains to be seen if and/or how Ryan Dempster and Felix Doubront fit into Boston’s postseason plans, as the rotation appears set with Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, John Lackey and Jake Peavy. Farrell did say, however, that he’d like to see any starters who move to the bullpen for the playoffs pitch in relief before the end of the regular season.
6:04 p.m.: Dollar Beard Night at Fenway Park appears to be a huge success. There are beards everywhere, and the game is a sellout.
5:26 p.m.: Will Middlebrooks, who had been battling the flu, will be back in the lineup. He’ll play third base and bat seventh.
David Ross will get the start behind the dish and bat ninth.
Wednesday’s complete lineups are below.
Red Sox (92-60)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Shane Victorino, CF
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Daniel Nava, RF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
David Ross, C
Jake Peavy, RHP (11-5, 4.03 ERA)
Nate McLouth, LF
Manny Machado, 3B
Chris Davis, 1B
Adam Jones, CF
Nick Markakis, RF
Danny Valencia, DH
Matt Wieters, C
J.J. Hardy, SS
Brian Roberts, 2B
Wei-Yin Chen, LHP (7-7, 3.99 ERA)
8 a.m. ET: Tuesday was a strange day for Major League Baseball.
Earlier in the day Tuesday, Braves closer Craig Kimbrel — arguably the best ninth-inning man in baseball — blew a two-run lead and suffered a loss when defensive wizard Andrelton Simmons made an error on a ground ball up the middle that he typically handles. Hours later, Koji Uehara’s incredible streaks of 37 consecutive batters retired and 30 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings were both snapped as he suffered a loss versus the Orioles.
Amazingly, the world did not end. Instead, the sun rose Wednesday morning, and we’ll once again have baseball Wednesday evening.
Jake Peavy will go up against Wei-Yin Chen on Wednesday as the Red Sox look to lock up a playoff spot. The Red Sox could have clinched a playoff berth Tuesday with a win and an Indians loss, but neither came to fruition — the Indians rallied for a victory over the Royals. Boston’s magic number to clinch the AL East sits at three.
Wednesday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN and follow along right here.