Final, Red Sox 6-5: What a wacky ending.
After the dust settled following Dustin Pedroia’s near-homer, Brian Matusz — who has owned David Ortiz in the past — uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Pedey to advance to third base. Ortiz walked.
Mike Napoli dug in and was plunked on the knee. Napoli hit the ground like a ton of bricks and stayed down for a moment, briefly silencing the Fenway Park crowd. Napoli eventually returned to his feet and went down to first base.
Mike Carp pinch-hit for Jonny Gomes against right-hander Darren O’Day with the bases loaded and one out. Carp hit a sinking line drive to left field that hung up long enough for David Lough to make the catch.
Then, mayhem ensued.
Pedroia, who started off third base, had to retreat after Lough made the catch. Lough fired toward third — I think, as it certainly wasn’t toward the plate — and the ball ended up rattling around near the backstop. Pedroia, who tagged up at third base, raced home with the winning run.
It was a strange way to end the game, but the Red Sox certainly will take it. The two teams will get back at it Monday morning at 11:05 a.m.
10:37 p.m., 5-5: Welcome to 2014.
Dustin Pedroia hit a high fly ball to left field that nearly left the yard for a walk-off home run. A fan reached over and almost touched it — but didn’t — and the ball appeared to hit the ledge atop the Green Monster.
The umpires ruled it wasn’t a home run, but they took another look at the play after Pedroia cruised into second base with a double. Fans chanted “Home run! Home run!” throughout the review.
Finally, the call on the field stood after two minutes, two seconds of intensity.
Pedroia moved to third on a wild pitch, and Mike Napoli is digging in.
Mid 9th, 5-5: The Red Sox received some clutch pitching in the ninth.
Adam Jones doubled into the left field corner off Andrew Miller to begin the ninth and moved over to third base when Matt Wieters grounded to second. Miller and Edward Mujica made sure Jones never crossed the plate.
Steve Lombardozzi hit a little dribbler in front of the dish. Miller charged in, gobbled it, looked Jones back at third and fired a dart to first base for the second out.
Mujica took over at that point and struck out David Lough on a pitch that fell off the tabble.
The top of the Red Sox’s order — Grady Sizemore, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz — is due up in the ninth inning.
End 8th, 5-5: The Red Sox’s offense couldn’t keep the good times rolling in the eighth inning.
The Red Sox scored three runs in the sixth and two runs in the seventh, but they came up empty in the eighth. Xander Bogaerts, A.J. Pierzynski and Brock Holt couldn’t muster up anything against Evan Meek.
All three Sox hitters put the ball on the ground, scattering three outs across the infield. Baltimore’s defense held up, which it didn’t do in the seventh inning.
Andrew Miller will come back out for the ninth inning with Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and Steve Lombardozzi due up.
Mid 8th, 5-5: Three pitchers combined to lock down the eighth inning for Boston.
Chris Capuano yielded a single to Ryan Flaherty before bouncing back to strike out Nick Markakis. Markakis put up a good at-bat — he saw eight pitches — but Capuano eventually put him away with a slider.
Junichi Tazawa entered the ballgame to face Nelson Cruz, who has had Boston’s number with the long ball this season. Tazawa did his job very effectively, requiring just one pitch to get Cruz to pop out.
Lefty Andrew Miller entered to face the left-handed-hitting Chris Davis, and he, too, successfully did his job. Davis struck out swinging on four pitches.
The bottom third of the order — Xander Bogaerts, A.J. Pieryznki and Brock Holt — is due up for Boston in the eighth.
End 7th, 5-5: Jonny Gomes’ sixth-inning homer really jumpstarted the Red Sox’s offense. Boston scored twice in the seventh inning to tie the game at five apiece.
Brock Holt, who has played the role of catalyst well since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket before Friday’s game, singled into center field to begin Boston’s seventh-inning rally.
The inning really turned in the Red Sox’s favor, though, when shortstop Ryan Flaherty — who just moved to short because J.J. Hardy left with a right hamstring strain the half inning prior — failed to turn a double play.
Grady Sizemore hit a comebacker with Holt on first, and pitcher Zach Britton made the play. Flaherty couldn’t cleanly transfer Britton’s toss to second base, however, and both Sizemore and Holt safely reached their intended destinations.
Dustin Pedroia added to the threat with a single into right field, at which point Buck Showalter visited the mound. David Ortiz then jumped on the first pitch he saw and lined it into right field for an RBI single.
Showalter turned to Evan Meek with Mike Napoli coming up. Napoli hit a high chopper to third base that should have resulted in at least one out. But Jonathan Schoop — at third base because of Hardy’s injury — fired a throw to home in the dirt, allowing the Red Sox to tie the game.
Gomes and Daniel Nava had an opportunity to give Boston the lead with the bases packed, but Meek buckled down. Gomes popped out to catcher Matt Wieters in foul territory and Nava struck out swinging.
Both runs in the inning were unearned. But they still count the same.
Mid 7th, Orioles 5-3: Exactly what the doctor ordered for Boston.
Chris Capuano, who recorded the final out of the sixth inning, needed just six pitches to shut down the Orioles in the seventh. Now, the Red Sox’s offense, which produced three runs in the sixth inning on Jonny Gomes’ three-run blast, can get right back to work.
Steve Lombardozzi (who pinch-hit for J.J. Hardy), David Lough and Jonathan Schoop went down in order against Capuano.
End 6th, Orioles 5-3: Jonny Gomes clearly wasn’t ready to go quietly into the night.
Gomes launched a three-run homer off Ubaldo Jimenez into the Monster seats to give the Red Sox some life. Jimenez hung a 2-2 slider that Gomes jumped all over.
The table was set by David Ortiz and Mike Napoli. Ortiz ripped a single toward the right-center field gap, and Napoli earned a six-pitch walk after Jimenez battled back to load the count.
Gomes was the last batter Jimenez faced, as the Orioles turned to Zach Britton to close out the inning.
We have a game at Fenway.
Mid 6th, Orioles 5-0: Jake Peavy’s night came to an end in the sixth inning.
Ryan Flaherty led off with a double. He took third base when Nelson Cruz flied out to deep right field.
The Red Sox decided to walk Chris Davis with two outs after Peavy fell behind in the count. Clearly, the Sox recognize just how dangerous last year’s MLB home run leader can be when put into a hitter’s count.
Peavy’s outing ended when Adam Jones collected his third single of the game. Flaherty trotted home with Baltimore’s fifth run.
Chris Capuano entered and retired Matt Wieters to keep the Red Sox free of any additional damage in the sixth. Daniel Nava made a nice running grab in shallow right field to end the inning.
End 5th, Orioles 4-0: Ubaldo Jimenez has surrendered at least four earned runs in each of his first three starts. He has blanked the Red Sox through five innings in this one.
Xander Bogaerts began the bottom of the fifth with a single into center field. Bogaerts, who received the day off Saturday, entered the game with a team-best .411 on-base percentage.
The Red Sox faltered from there. A.J. Pierzynski, Brock Holt and Grady Sizemore went down without a fight.
Mid 5th, Orioles 4-0: The third out has been the hardest for Jake Peavy in this game.
Peavy recorded two quick outs in the fifth inning before finding his way into some trouble. Chris Davis and Adam Jones both grounded to Dustin Pedroia at second base.
Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy built a threat by collecting back-to-back singles. David Lough then knocked in Baltimore’s fourth run with a line drive into the right field corner that kicked up into the stands.
The Red Sox actually caught a break because two runs would have scored if Lough’s double didn’t bounce into the seats. In fact, a fan who reached over can be credited with preventing Baltimore’s fifth run.
End 4th, Orioles 3-0: Jonny Gomes’ two-out double only gave the Red Sox an opportunity to strand another runner in scoring position.
Gomes ripped a line drive into the left field corner after David Ortiz and Mike Napoli produced a pair of flyouts. Gomes needed to get on his horse to safely dive into second base.
Daniel Nava couldn’t cash in following Gomes’ double. He struck out swinging to end the inning.
Mid 4th, Orioles 3-0: To his credit, Jake Peavy has kept the Orioles from scoring the last three innings after getting knocked around in the opening frame.
Peavy, who has allowed at least one baserunner in every inning, walked Nick Markakis with two outs. The right-hander settled back down, though, and Nelson Cruz struck out looking to end the inning.
Retiring Cruz is an accomplishment in and of itself. Cruz faced two pitches before his fourth-inning at-bat. One went over the fence and the other was yanked into left field for a single.
A.J. Pierzynski bounced from behind the plate to help put away Ryan Flaherty for the second out of the fourth inning. Peavy called for it while charging in, but the pitcher eventually gave way at the last second.
End 3rd, Orioles 3-0: It looks like the Red Sox are going to be aggressive on the bases. But — and stop me if you’ve heard this before — it’s become a matter of producing timely hits with runners in scoring position.
A.J. Pierzynski nearly sent a ball into the left-center field gap to begin the frame, but David Lough raced back to make a nice running grab.
Brock Holt walked with one out in the third inning. Holt — like Grady Sizemore in the first inning — swiped second base. Again, however, the Red Sox couldn’t do anything with the runner.
Grady Sizemore struck out swinging on a pitch off the outside corner, and Dustin Pedroia grounded to short.
Mid 3rd, Orioles 3-0: Jake Peavy settled down after a leadoff single.
Adam Jones singled to get things started in the third inning. He’s now 2-for-2 in the contest.
Peavy rebounded to retire Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy and David Lough.
Hardy and Lough struck out to end the inning. Hardy went down swinging and Lough went down looking.
End 2nd, Orioles 3-0: Boston’s bats were silenced in the second inning.
Jonny Gomes, Daniel Nava and Xander Bogaerts couldn’t get anything going against Ubaldo Jimenez, who has retired six in a row after issuing a leadoff walk to Grady Sizemore in the first inning.
Gomes and Nava grounded to short. Bogaerts struck out swinging.
Mid 2nd, Orioles 3-0: Jake Peavy overcame some two-out trouble to keep the Orioles off the board in the second inning.
Peavy recorded two quick outs. Jonathan Schoop struck out swinging, and Ryan Flaherty flied out to center field.
Peavy fell into some trouble upon issuing a two-out walk to Nick Markakis. Nelson Cruz, who homered in the first inning, ripped a first-pitch single into left field.
Peavy closed off the threat by retiring Chris Davis on a high bouncer to Mike Napoli at first base.
End 1st, Orioles 3-0: It looked briefly like Ubaldo Jimenez, who has been awful this season, would allow the Red Sox to immediately get some momentum going offensively. The right-hander quickly shut off any potential rally, though.
Grady Sizemore, who entered the game 1-for-18 over his last four contests, led off with a seven-pitch walk — control issues typically are what gets Jimenez in trouble — before swiping second base.
The Red Sox continue to struggle with runners in scoring position, as Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli went down consecutively.
Sizemore took third base when Ortiz hit a rocket right into the shift for the second out. Napoli struck out looking on a pitch located on the outside corner to end the inning.
The Red Sox now are 31-for-153 this season with runners in scoring position.
Mid 1st, Orioles 3-0: The Orioles beat up on Jake Peavy in the first inning.
Nelson Cruz continued his assault on the Red Sox by launching his third home run of the season. All three homers, of course, have come against Boston, as he blasted two in the teams’ season-opening series down in Baltimore.
It only got worse for Peavy, who was hit hard throughout the inning.
Chris Davis walked before Adam Jones and Matt Wieters delivered back-to-back singles. Wieters’ single was an RBI knock into right-center field.
J.J. Hardy plated Baltimore’s third run with a well-struck fly ball to center field that scored Jones from third base.
David Lough threatened to add to the lead with a fly ball to deep right field. Fortunately for the Red Sox, Daniel Nava was able to race back to make the catch just before the warning track.
7:09 p.m.: Nick Markakis fouls one off, and baseball has begun.
7:02 p.m.: What a moving ceremony at Fenway Park.
Boston Marathon bombing victims and first responders gathered on the Fenway Park field while banners of support lined the warning track. Runners, including Dick and Rick Hoyt, also joined in.
The UMass marching band then played the Star Spangled Banner as the Fenway crowd sang along. One Fund president Jim Gallagher threw out the first pitch, and the family of Lingzi Lu yelled, “Play ball!”
It’s hard to concentrate on baseball after a tribute like that, but that is what we must do.
6:40 p.m.: The pregame ceremony at Fenway Park is underway.
The Red Sox are honoring the victims and first responders from last April’s tragic Boston Marathon bombing — as it’s the one-year anniversary of the Red Sox’s first home game after the attack.
I’ll try to keep you updated on the pregame happenings, but surely, it’ll be difficult to put into words. If you’re interested in watching the pregame ceremony, you can do so at the link below.
5:20 p.m.: Jackie Bradley Jr. will be out of the lineup for Sunday’s game. Red Sox manager John Farrell said it’s just an off day and that the 24-year-old outfielder will be back in the lineup Monday.
Sunday’s complete lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox (8-10)
Grady Sizemore, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Daniel Nava, RF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Brock Holt, 3B
Jake Peavy, RHP (0-0, 1.93 ERA)
Baltimore Orioles (8-8)
Nick Markakis, RF
Nelson Cruz, DH
Chris Davis, 1B
Adam Jones, CF
Matt Wieters, C
J.J. Hardy, SS
David Lough, LF
Jonathan Schoop, 2B
Ryan Flaherty, 3B
Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP (0-3, 7.31 ERA)
5 p.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles won’t get much sleep Sunday night. But a victory certainly will make one team’s “nap” a little more enjoyable.
The Red Sox and Orioles will battle in a 7:05 p.m. nationally televised game Sunday night, before then turning around and playing at 11:05 a.m. Monday morning. It’s a rather grueling turnaround — especially considering baseball’s scarcity of off days as it is — but it’s something neither team can avoid.
“Marathon Monday’s traditional start time has been there, but this is the first time we’re coming off a night game,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Sunday’s game. “We’re thankful for ESPN on most occasions, but we have to deal with the schedule given to us.”
Monday marks the first Patriots’ Day and first Boston Marathon since last year’s bombing. Farrell said Sunday the Red Sox take great pride in representing a city that showed such resilience following a horrific attack. A pregame ceremony will be held Sunday to honor the victims and heroes of last year’s events.
Jake Peavy and Ubaldo Jimenez will take the mound for Sunday’s Easter showdown at Fenway Park. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., so be sure to stick around with NESN.com’s live blog.