Final, Red Sox 4-3: Koji Uehara had no problem closing out the Orioles in the ninth inning. The Red Sox will return home for Friday’s World Series ring ceremony on the heels of back-to-back victories.
The Red Sox’s offense collected 14 hits in Thursday’s 4-3 win. David Ortiz and Xander Bogaerts each had two hits, while Will Middlebrooks and Jackie Bradley chipped in two hits apiece.
Felix Doubront earned the victory for Boston after going 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander gave up three earned runs on six hits while striking out four and walking one. Doubront tossed 76 pitches (51 strikes) before handing the keys to the Red Sox’s bullpen. Brandon Workman, Chris Capuano, Junichi Tazawa and Uehara combined to nail down Boston’s second victory of the season.
The Red Sox will open up their 2014 home schedule with an interleague battle against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday. Jake Peavy will take the ball for Boston.
Friday’s home opener is scheduled to kick off at 2:05 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN starting at 11:30 a.m, though. It should be a special day at Fenway Park.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 4-3: The Red Sox left Dustin Pedroia hanging at third base in the ninth inning. Koji Uehara now will look to record his first save of 2014.
Pedroia doubled with one out in the ninth, but the Red Sox couldn’t push him across. David Ortiz grounded out to second base and Mike Napoli grounded softly up the first base line.
End 8th, Red Sox 4-3: Junichi Tazawa escaped an eighth-inning jam. The Orioles stranded a pair of runners.
Tazawa made quick work of Chris Davis for the first out of the eighth. Davis, who has swung the bat well in this game, struck out swinging on three pitches.
Things got more difficult for Tazawa from there. Adam Jones singled with one out, and Matt Wieters singled with two outs to put runners at first and second for Delmon Young. Young grounded out softly to Dustin Pedroia to end the inning.
Xander Bogaerts flashed some leather in the eighth inning. The young shortstop ranged into the hole and delivered an off-balance strike to Pedroia for a 6-4 forceout that marked the second out.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 4-3: Will Middlebrooks and Jackie Bradley Jr. have made an impact in this game. The eighth inning wasn’t either player’s finest hour, though.
Middlebrooks struck out swinging to lead off the eighth inning. Middlebrooks, who began the season 0-for-8, collected hits in his last two plate appearances before being retired by Zach Britton in the eighth.
David Ross walked with one out, but Bradley, who, like Middlebrooks, has two hits, grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Junichi Tazawa will pitch the eighth inning for Boston.
End 7th, Red Sox 4-3: Chris Capuano tossed a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
Capuano, making his Red Sox debut, struck out Ryan Flaherty and then induced back-to-back ground ball outs. The West Springfield, Mass., native enjoyed a very good spring training after signing with Boston as a free agent, so it’s encouraging to see him carry that momentum into the regular season.
Zach Britton will be Baltimore’s new pitcher in the eighth inning.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 4-3: Xander Bogaerts already looks locked in.
Bogaerts collected his third hit in the seventh inning. The 21-year-old, who is 3-for-4 in this game, now is 5-for-9 with three walks in Boston’s three games thus far.
Bogaerts’ two-out single in the seventh inning didn’t lead to anything, though. Evan Meek kept the Red Sox off the board. Meek also retired David Ortiz — 3-for-3 before the seventh inning — for the first time in this game.
End 6th, Red Sox 4-3: The Orioles keep hanging around.
Chris Davis got things going for Baltimore in the sixth inning. The reigning MLB home run king led off with a single.
Felix Doubront and Adam Jones then went toe to toe in a lengthy battle. Jones saw 11 pitches — fouling off six of them — before Doubront won the fight. Jones flied out to right field in what would be the final at-bat of Doubront’s outing.
Brandon Workman replaced Doubront with one out in the sixth inning. The 25-year-old struck out Nelson Cruz and surrendered a two-out single to Matt Wieters. Davis went from first to third on Wieters’ single.
Davis advancing two bases on Wieters’ single was big because Workman uncorked a wild pitch while walking Delmon Young. Davis was able to trot home from third base with Baltimore’s third run.
Workman finally escaped the jam by getting Jonathan Schoop on a bouncer over the mound. Dustin Pedroia made the play and stepped on second base.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 4-2: Will Middlebrooks and Jackie Bradley Jr. each collected his second hit in the sixth inning. Bradley’s knock was an RBI single that extended Boston’s lead to 4-2.
Middlebrooks lined a one-out double into left field. Bradley, who singled and scored in the third inning, ripped a hot shot into center field that scored Middlebrooks from second base with two outs.
Bradley’s RBI single spelled the end of Wei-Yin Chen’s night, as Orioles manager Buck Showalter turned to Evan Meek to finish the inning. Meek hit Jonny Gomes before retiring Dustin Pedroia on a grounder back to the mound.
End 5th, Red Sox 3-2: One of Felix Doubront’s biggest flaws last season was his inability to stop the bleeding. Doubront, who surrendered two runs on three hits in the fourth inning, made sure things didn’t unravel any further in the fifth inning.
Doubront quickly took care of Ryan Flaherty, Nick Markakis and J.J. Hardy. Flaherty and Hardy both struck out swinging, giving Doubront four strikeouts thus far.
Bogaerts showed nice range in the fifth inning while tracking down Markakis’ popup into shallow left field.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 3-2: Wei-Yin Chen kept Boston off the scoreboard for the first time since the first inning.
David Ortiz gave the Red Sox their 10th hit of the game. It was a one-out single into right-center field.
Chen enjoyed a nice bounce-back inning, which is important given the momentum Baltimore started to generate in the fourth.
End 4th, Red Sox 3-2: The Orioles used some two-out magic to slice into the Red Sox’s lead.
Chris Davis, who crushed an MLB-best 53 home runs last season, nearly hit his first of 2014 in the fourth inning. Davis smoked a fly ball to center field that slammed off the wall. Jackie Bradley Jr. played it perfectly and quickly tossed it back into the infield, but Davis dived in safely with a leadoff double.
Matt Wieters gave Baltimore its first run with a two-out double off the right field wall. Delmon Young soon followed with an RBI single.
Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves went out for a chat with Felix Doubront after Young’s RBI single. It seemed to settle down the left-hander a bit, as Doubront struck out Jonathan Schoop to escape the inning with a lead still intact.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 3-0: Wei-Yin Chen has seen better days. The Red Sox already have nine hits to go along with three runs.
Xander Bogaerts, who scored Boston’s first run in the second inning, led off the fourth inning with a single through the left side. Bogaerts moved up a station when Will Middlebrooks, who had been 0-for-8 to start the year, produced a single of his own.
David Ross plated Bogaerts from second base with a single into left field. Nelson Cruz came up firing, but his throw home was off the mark.
End 3rd, Red Sox 2-0: Felix Doubront induced his second double play of the contest in the third inning.
Nick Markakis singled with one out, but Doubront escaped the inning by getting J.J. Hardy to hit a grounder to short. Xander Bogaerts started the 6-4-3, inning-ending double play.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 2-0: Jackie Bradley Jr. hustled his way to Boston’s second run.
Bradley led off with an infield single. Jonathan Schoop nearly retired Bradley with a nice play, but the second baseman’s throw sailed away from first baseman Chris Davis, allowing JBJ to reach.
Bradley remained at second base while Jonny Gomes and Dustin Pedroia flied out to right field and left field, respectively. Left fielder Nelson Cruz had some serious issues with David Ortiz’s two-out pop fly, though, and Bradley bolted all the way around from first base after the ball dropped beyond Cruz’s outstretched glove.
End 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: Felix Doubront got through the second inning without any trouble.
Matt Wieters, Delmon Young and Jonathan Schoop went down in order against the Boston lefty. Young struck out swinging, giving Doubront his first strikeout of 2014.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox grounded into another double play in the second inning. This time, it produced a run.
Xander Bogaerts and Daniel Nava began the second inning with back-to-back singles, giving Boston four hits in the early going. Will Middlebrooks then grounded into a 6-4-3 double play — a trade-off the Orioles gladly will take in that situation — that plated Bogaerts from third base.
David Ross struck out swinging to end the inning.
End 1st, 0-0: A rare bobble by Dustin Pedroia helped keep the inning alive for the Orioles. It didn’t matter to Felix Doubront.
Nick Markakis led off with a single, and Chris Davis nearly grounded into an inning-ending double play two batters later. Pedroia briefly bobbled the ground ball, though, and the Red Sox could only record an out at second base.
Adam Jones’ two-out walk put two runners on for Nelson Cruz, who already has two home runs in this series. Cruz grounded to Xander Bogaerts to end the inning.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Mike Napoli couldn’t carry Wednesday’s momentum into his first at-bat of Thursday’s game.
Napoli, who drove in four runs during the Red Sox’s 6-2 victory over the Orioles on Wednesday, grounded into a 6-4-3, inning-ending double play in the first inning Thursday to kill Boston’s early threat.
Jonny Gomes led off with a bloop single into right field. Gomes typically is a dead pull hitter, so seeing him drop a softly hit single into right field was surprising.
David Ortiz added to the threat with a one-out single, but Napoli’s double-play ball allowed Wei-Yin Chen to escape the inning unscathed.
7:09 p.m.: Jonny Gomes takes a first-pitch ball. The Sox and O’s are off and running at Camden Yards.
7:04 p.m.: Thursday’s Red Sox-Orioles game is airing on NESN. But NESN also has you covered for Thursday’s Boston Bruins-Toronto Maple Leafs game.
Thursday’s Bruins-Maple Leafs coverage can be seen on NESNplus. You can find your NESNplus channel at the link below.
NESN.com’s Mike Cole is running a live blog for Thursday’s B’s-Leafs contest, too. Be sure to check that out.
6:52 p.m.: The Orioles’ grounds crew was forced to toss the tarp on the field at Camden Yards. Fortunately, it looks like the Sox and O’s will get this game in, as the tarp has since come off.
There are overcast skies in Baltimore, but the forecast indicates that the rain should hold off long enough. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, just in case Mother Nature decides to act up at some point.
6 p.m. ET: Will Felix Doubront take the next step?
That’s one of the biggest questions facing the Boston Red Sox this season. Doubront, who was both good and bad throughout Boston’s 2013 World Series run, will make his 2014 regular-season debut against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday at Camden Yards.
Doubront will square off with a fellow left-hander in Wei-Yin Chen. The Red Sox, as a result of going up against a lefty starter for the first time this season, will send out a different lineup than they used in their first two games. The two biggest shakeups involve Jonny Gomes batting leadoff and Jackie Bradley Jr. playing center field and batting ninth. David Ross will make his first start of 2014 behind the plate.
Thursday’s contest — a rubber match in Baltimore before the Red Sox return to Fenway Park for Friday’s home opener — is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN and follow along right here with NESN.com.
Thursday’s complete lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox (1-1)
Jonny Gomes, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Daniel Nava, RF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
David Ross, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Felix Doubront, LHP
Baltimore Orioles (1-1)
Nick Markakis, RF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Chris Davis, 1B
Adam Jones, CF
Nelson Cruz, LF
Matt Wieters, C
Delmon Young, DH
Jonathan Schoop, 2B
Ryan Flaherty, 3B
Wei-Yin Chen, LHP