Final, Orioles 3-2: There will be no clinching tonight.
Xander Bogaerts struck out swinging with Quintin Berry on second to end the game and give the Orioles a 3-2 victory.
Koji Uehara was finally victimized by Danny Valencia’s triple in the ninth and Matt Wieters’ ensuing sac fly, snapping Uehara’s club-record streak of 37 consecutive batters retired and marking the first run allowed by the closer since July 6.
These two teams will be back at it Wednesday night, with Jake Peavy scheduled to take the mound against Bruce Chen.
Mid 9th, Orioles 3-2: You can’t remain perfect forever.
After retiring a team-record 37 consecutive batters, Koji Uehara gave up a leadoff triple to Danny Valencia in the ninth. Shane Victorino made a highlight-reel catch on a similar line drive earlier in the night, but he was unable to come up with this one near the warning track in center field.
Alexi Casilla pinch-ran for Valencia, and he came home with the go-ahead run when Matt Wieters lifted a fly ball into right field.
Uehara retired the final two batters, getting J.J. Hardy to ground out to short and striking out Brian Roberts, but the Red Sox will now need a run against O’s closer Jim Johnson to extend this ballgame.
End 8th, 2-2: The Red Sox get nothing off Tommy Hunter, as the righty retires Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava in order.
Napoli’s sharp grounder gave J.J. Hardy some difficulty, but the shortstop was able to gather the ball and throw to first to complete the out.
Nava flied out to left field to end the inning.
Bottom 8th, 2-2: Brian Matusz faces just one batter, and he blows away David Ortiz with a 93-mph fastball.
Right-hander Tommy Hunter will be Baltimore’s fifth pitcher of the night.
Mid 8th, 2-2: Craig Breslow defuses a difficult situation, retiring all three batters he faced to keep this game tied through seven and a half.
Facing the meat of the Baltimore order, Breslow got both Chris Davis and Adam Jones to ground out to shortstop with the infield in before inducing an inning-ending flyout off the bat of Nick Markakis.
The Red Sox have the heart of their own order due up in the home half of the eighth, with David Ortiz coming to the plate first against new O’s hurler Brian Matusz.
Top 8th, 2-2: The Orioles began the eighth inning with a single and a double off Brandon Workman, and the Red Sox will now go to their second reliever of the night. Left-hander Craig Breslow gets the call.
Nate McLouth currently stands at third, with Manny Machado on second and Chris Davis, who homered in his last at-bat, at the plate.
End 7th, 2-2: T.J. McFarland gave way to Kevin Gausman in the seventh, and Gausman held serve.
Dustin Pedroia reached with one out when Manny Machado’s throw pulled Chris Davis off the base. It was the second error of the night for the third baseman, who usually churns out more web gems than fielding miscues.
He quickly atoned for his mistake, though, fielding a Shane Victorino grounder and initiating an inning-ending double play.
Mid 7th, 2-2: Brandon Workman is perfect in his first inning of relief, retiring the O’s in order.
Matt Wieters struck out to open the inning, and J.J. Hardy followed by flying out to right on a 3-0 pitch.
Workman thought he caught Brian Roberts looking with two strikes — he and Jarrod Saltalamacchia both took two steps toward the dugout — but the home plate umpire disagreed. No matter, though, as Roberts grounded the next pitch to Stephen Drew up the middle for the final out.
Xander Bogaerts, who has walked and reached on an error, will lead off the bottom of the seventh.
End 6th, 2-2: T.J. McFarland makes quick work of the Red Sox in the bottom of the sixth.
The southpaw got Mike Carp to ground out before blowing two-seamers past both Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Stephen Drew.
Ryan Dempster has come apart a bit over the last two innings, and his night is now over. Brandon Workman is the first pitcher out of the bullpen for Boston.
Mid 6th, 2-2: Strikeouts and home runs — that’s what Chris Davis does.
The Orioles slugger whiffed in his first two at-bats against Ryan Dempster, but he redeemed himself in the third, demolishing a 2-1 slider over the garage in center field. It was the 51st homer of the season for Davis, breaking the franchise record of 50 set by Brady Anderson in 1996.
Baltimore threatened to jump ahead for the first time tonight when Adam Jones walked and Nick Markakis sent a line drive sizzling into dead center field, but a phenomenal catch by Shane Victorino robbed Markakis of extra bases and forced Jones to retreat to first.
Victorino made the lunging grab on the edge of the warning track while sprinting toward the triangle, an impressive play for any outfielder, but especially one who has spent the bulk of the season playing right field.
Jones was then wiped off the basepaths, as Danny Valencia grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Scott Feldman’s night is now over. T.J. McFarland, a 24-year-old lefty, takes over on the mound for Baltimore.
End 5th, Red Sox 2-1: Scott Feldman continued his walk parade in the fifth, setting a new career high with his free pass to Mike Napoli, but he kept the Red Sox off the scoreboard.
Feldman, whose pitch count is up to 103 already, retired Shane Victorino, David Ortiz and Daniel Nava (via groundout, strikeout and flyout, respectively), with a two-out walk sprinkled in.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 2-1: The Orioles finally got to Ryan Dempster in the fifth, slicing the Red Sox’ lead in half.
Dempster walked two in the frame, doubling the number of baserunners he’s allowed tonight, and allowed his first extra-base hit, a double off the wall in left-center field by J.J. Hardy.
Danny Valencia, who walked to lead off the inning, made it to third on Hardy’s double, and he came home on Brian Roberts’ RBI groundout to Xander Bogaerts.
A walk to Nate McLouth followed, but Manny Machado flied out to Stephen Drew in shallow left field for the second consecutive at-bat to end the inning.
End 4th, Red Sox 2-0: A trio of fielding miscues — including two by Baltimore’s surest fielder — allowed the Red Sox to extend their lead.
After Mike Carp flied out to open the inning, Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded into the shift. But Manny Machado, having rotated into shallow right field from third base, was unable to field the ball cleanly, allowing Salty to reach safely.
Stephen Drew then worked a walk, tying a career high with five for O’s pitcher Scott Feldman.
With Xander Bogaerts batting, Saltalamacchia, who does not run particularly well, took off for third. Matt Wieters’ throw beat him to the bag by a mile, but the third base umpire ruled that Machado did not apply the tag in time. It was a questionable call, but it gave Boston a pair of runners in scoring position with one out.
The lead runner was able to come during that same at-bat, as Nate McLouth was unable to handle Bogaerts’ sinking line drive into left field. It was the second error of the inning for the O’s, who entered tonight having committed a major league-low 43 errors this season.
Dustin Pedroia grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning, but the Red Sox now have a 2-0 advantage for Ryan Dempster to work with.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 1-0: Ryan Dempster has been extremely sharp tonight.
After retireing the side in order again in the fourth, Dempster has now retired eight consecutive Orioles batters.
He began the frame by striking out Chris Davis and Adam Jones, bringing his strikeout total to five on the night, and ended it by getting Nick Markakis to ground out.
End 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: Free passes will catch up with Scott Feldman before this night is over.
The O’s starter issued his fourth walk of night here in the third inning, a seven-pitch one to Mike Napoli, matching his season high. None of the recipients of those four walks have come around to score, though.
Feldman struck out Shane Victorino looking to open the third (on a pitch Victorino clearly though was ball four) and got David Ortiz to ground out into the shift before allowing Napoli to reach.
His first 1-2-3 inning may have been foiled, but the Red Sox were unable to add to their one-run cushion. Daniel Nava flied out to center field to end the frame.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: Ryan Dempster completed his first 1-2-3 inning of the night, retiring the O’s in order on a trio of flyouts.
Brian Roberts led off the inning with a deep flyout to center field, and Nate McLouth followed by flying out Daniel Nava at the warning track in right.
Manny Machado’s blooper didn’t travel quite as far, but Stephen Drew was able to reel it in in shallow left field.
End 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox loaded up the bases here in the second, but they were unable to add to their one-run cushion.
Orioles starter Scott Feldman picked up his first out quickly, striking out Daniel Nava looking on a pitch right down the pipe.
Carp then doubled into the left field corner and advanced to third on Jarrod Saltlamacchia’s groundout just inside first base.
Feldman fell behind Stephen Drew 3-0 before missing low on full count for his second free pass of the night. He engaged in a similar battle with No. 9 hitter Xander Bogaerts, falling behind the rookie 3-1 before eventually walking him on seven pitches.
Dustin Pedroia, who gave the Sox their first run with a leadoff homer in the first, then came up with the bases loaded, but he lined out to a leaping Brian Roberts at second base to end the inning.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: Ryan Dempster is pitching like a guy who wants to keep his job.
The veteran will almost certainly be relegated to the bullpen when the Red Sox trim their rotation for the postseason, but he’s making the most of what’s likely one of his final starts.
Dempster walked Danny Valencia, narrowly missing on a pair of debatable pitches, but he was otherwise perfect in the second. He struck out out Nick Markakis looking to open the inning — his third straight K — and, after Valencia’s walk, got both Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy to ground out to end the frame.
Daniel Nava will come to the plate first in the home half.
End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: Well, that’s a nice way to start.
Dustin Pedroia launched a leadoff home run on Scott Feldman’s fifth pitch of the night to give the Red Sox an early 1-0 lead. Feldman started off Pedroia with four straight sinkers to run the count to 3-1 before going to his cutter, which the second baseman deposited somewhere on Lansdowne Street.
Feldman then narrowly missed inside on a 3-2 pitch to Shane Victorino, but a pair of nice defensive plays behind him allowed the right-hander to escape the inning without further damage.
Second baseman Brian Roberts collected a David Ortiz ground ball and turned it into a 4-6-3 double play, and Manny Machado charged grounder by Mike Napoli and threw out the first baseman for the final out.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Ryan Dempster worked a very economical first inning, allowing an infield single to Manny Machado but needing just 13 pitches to retire the side.
The speedy Machado reached after Nate McLouth flied out to open the game. Stephen Drew was able to field the third baseman’s grounder while ranging to his right, but Machado was able to make it to first without a throw.
He’d stay at first, though, as Dempster struck out Chris Davis and Adam Jones consecutively to end the inning.
Dustin Pedroia, Shane Victorino and David Ortiz are due up first for the Sox in the bottom of the first.
7:12 p.m.: Ryan Dempster’s first pitch misses low for ball one, and we are underway on a chilly night at Fenway.
7:05 p.m.: One quick note before we get started here at Fenway:
Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow has been nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award, an honor that recognizes players who go above in beyond in charitable work and community outreach.
A member of each team has been nominated, and you can vote for Breslow by clicking here.
Now, let’s play some ball.
6:28 p.m.: The Red Sox made a few minor roster moves this afternoon, promoting infielder Brock Holt and right-handers Brayan Villarreal and Steven Wright from Pawtucket.
Holt was a solid, versatile utility player during his two previous call-ups, but both pitchers’ previous stints ended disastrously.
Villarreal, who came over from Detroit in the Jose Iglesias deal, has thrown just four pitches for the Red Sox this season. All four were balls, and they resulted in a game-ending, bases-loaded walk in San Francisco on Aug. 20. He was sent back to Triple-A shortly after.
Wright, meanwhile, could not seem to tame his knuckleball in his last major league outing. The righty walked two, hit a batter, threw a wild pitch and allowed three runs in just an inning of work against the Astros. His knuckler was a nightmare for catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who allowed four passed balls in Wright’s lone frame.
All three of the new call-ups will be available tonight.
5:30 p.m.: October baseball has seemed like somewhat of a foregone conclusion around Boston for the last week or two, but the Red Sox can officially punch their ticket to the postseason with a win tonight and a Cleveland loss.
The Sox have already notched their highest win total since 2009 — Sunday’s victory over the Yankees was their 92nd — and with 11 games remaining, they still have a slim chance of becoming the first Boston team to post 100 wins in a season since the 1946 squad that lost the World Series.
Again, that’s unlikely, as the Red Sox will be playing six of those 11 games against a Baltimore team fighting for its playoff life, but it’s not impossible. A pair of three-game series with the O’s bookend five matchups with the Blue Jays and Rockies, who sit a combined 40.5 games out of first place, and an 8-3 record down the stretch would put them at the century mark.
I’m sure that’s the farthest thing from John Farrell’s mind right now, though. Here’s the lineup he’ll be sending out tonight, as well as who will be starting for Buck Showalter’s Orioles.
Red Sox (92-59)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Shane Victorino, CF
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, RF
Mike Carp, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Ryan Dempster, RHP
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
Scott Feldman, RHP
8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox are turning it on at the right time.
After finishing up a three-game series against Detroit on Sept. 4, John Farrell’s club was tasked with playing 19 of its final 21 games against American League East foes — and 16 against division opponents currently fighting for playoff spots.
The first 10 of those matchups have gone quite swimmingly for the Sox, who went 8-2 against Yankees and Rays to take what now appears to be an insurmountable nine-game lead in the division.
They’ll look to continue that string of success Tuesday night, when the Baltimore Orioles descend on Fenway Park to open a three-game set. Currently sitting two games out of the final wild-card spot, the O’s will start right-hander Scott Feldman (12-10, 3.54 ERA), who was roughed up in his only meeting with Boston this season. Tillman allowed four runs on six hits and two walks back on July 27, a game the Red Sox won 7-3 at Camden Yards.
The Sox will counter with Ryan Dempster (8-9, 4.70 ERA), who struggled with control in last outing, walking five in just five innings of work last Wednesday in Tampa Bay. Boston was able to pull out a win in that contest, though, just as they have in 11 of Dempster’s last 13 starts.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. You can catch the game on NESN, and keep it tuned to NESN.com for all your pregame news and updates from around the sports world.