Red Sox Live Blog: Opportunistic Orioles Drop Sox 5-4


Red Sox Live Blog: Opportunistic Orioles Drop Sox 5-4

Final, Orioles 5-4: Kevin Gregg worked his second straight perfect ninth inning to pick up back-to-back saves against the Sox, who fall to 10-13 with one game remaining in Baltimore. The Sox erased an ugly start with a huge eighth inning, but the opportunistic Orioles took advantage of Boston's mistakes. They'll finish the series Thursday at 7 p.m., when Jon Lester opposes Brad Bergesen.

End 8th, Orioles 5-4: The Orioles capitalized off another Boston mistake to retake the lead. Daniel Bard allowed the first two runners of the inning to reach, and Jason Varitek allowed consecutive passed balls. First, they moved up to second and third, and on the second one, Bard did a great job to block the plate so he could tag out Nick Markakis. But Derrek Lee still moved to third to draw the infield in with one out, and Vladimir Guerrero grounded one up the middle to score Lee. Without the passed balls, there's no telling of the ball would have gotten through the infield or if Markakis would have been able to beat Jacoby Ellsbury's throw. So the Sox will need another comeback.

Mid 8th, 4-4: The Sox finished with four in the eighth to find their way back in this game. It's amazing how quickly this lineup can strike, especially after going completely silent for seven innings. The Sox have trademarked these comebacks over the years, and this could be their first big one of 2011.

Top 8th, 4-4: And just like that, the Red Sox have erased a night of misery. Adrian Gonzalez drove home Jacoby Ellsbury, and Kevin Youkilis followed suit by hitting a three-run homer that just flew over Luke Scott's glove in left field. The Sox scored four runs before the Orioles could even record an out, and the Baltimore bullpen has blown it for Jeremy Guthrie.

End 7th, Orioles 4-0: Tim Wakefield worked a perfect seventh to keep Boston's hopes afloat, as the top of the order is due up in the eighth. Jeremy Guthrie started a game like this before. Do the Sox have a little more magic in them again?

Bottom 7th, Orioles 4-0: Tim Wakefield replaced Josh Beckett, who allowed four runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out four in six innings. Beckett threw 92 pitches.

Mid 7th, Orioles 4-0: Jeremy Accardo relieved Jeremy Guthrie, and he kept the good times rolling for the Baltimore bullpen, which got three scoreless innings Tuesday and worked another perfect frame in the seventh.

End 6th, Orioles 4-0: Josh Beckett passed over an opportunity to throw one high and tight on Luke Scott, who spent too much time admiring his two-run homer earlier in the game. After Beckett stared him down throughout his entire home-run trot, it seemed like there was some retribution on the horizon.

Mid 6th, Orioles 4-0: J.D. Drew had warning track power and couldn't put a dent in Baltimore's four-run lead. David Ortiz, who has two hits, was on first, but the Sox just can't crack through Jeremy Guthrie, who might be done after hurling 111 pitches through six innings.

End 5th, Orioles 4-0: Brian Roberts' sac fly — basically the only source of Baltimore's offense Tuesday night — added another run, but Josh Beckett escaped further damage by retiring Nick Markakis and Derrek Lee to retire the side. Beckett has looked extremely frustrated since last inning.

Mid 5th, Orioles 3-0: Dustin Pedroia lined one right back at Jeremy Guthrie, who snagged the third out of the inning more out of self defense than defensive prowess, but such is life for the struggling Sox.

End 4th, Orioles 3-0: Luke Scott almost knocked the moon out of the Baltimore sky with a two-run bomb in the fourth, and Adam Jones followed suit by depositing one into the first row in left field. The Orioles took advantage of a huge defensive blunder earlier in the inning when Derrek Lee popped one into shallow right that fell between three converging members of the Red Sox. Then, Scott and Jones put the O's ahead with two outs. It's a perfect example of the way the Sox have been losing this season — one team taking advantage of opportunities and the Sox falling short because of it.

Mid 4th, 0-0: The Sox made Jeremy Guthrie sweat a little bit in the fourth, but the Orioles got out of the inning after David Ortiz was gunned down at the plate. Jed Lowrie singled to right, and Nick Markakis had no problem throwing out Ortiz, who was trying to score from second. Markakis' throw was even a little up the first-base line, but Matt Wieters had little issue picking it and tagging out Ortiz at the plate. I know the Sox are hurting to come up with clutch runs, so the aggressiveness is nice to seE> But that was not the chance worth taking.

End 3rd, 0-0: First team to score wins. Josh Beckett struck out two and had a perfect third inning to keep pace with O's starter Jeremy Guthrie. Aside from that quirky infield single in the first inning, Beckett has been stellar in Baltimore.

Mid 3rd, 0-0: Jeremy Guthrie cruised through the third inning by striking out all three batters he faced. Jason Varitek, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia all fanned, and Guthrie has five strikeouts through three innings. He's one of those pitchers who will really command a game once he gets into a rhythm, and that's what has happened to this point.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: Carl Crawford's woes continued, and the Sox wasted another leadoff hit. After J.D. Drew started the inning with a single, Jed Lowrie struck out and Crawford grounded into a week double play to second base. So much for that momentum he sparked in L.A. Crawford needs to get it going before returning to Fenway more than anyone on the team to give himself some peace of mind and allow himself to just play the way that helped him earn that giant contract.

End 1st, 0-0: Josh Beckett has kept it going, and he got through the first unscathed, giving up an infield single to Derek Lee but keeping the game knotted after one. Apparently, the rain might be an issue later in Baltimore.

Mid 1st, 0-0: The Red Sox were burned again by failing to drive home runners in scoring position, as Kevin Youkilis struck out and David Ortiz popped out with runners on second and third. Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a single, and Adrian Gonzalez later followed with a double. But the Sox, who were 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position Tuesday, are 0 for 2 already in this one.

7 p.m.: The Sox and Orioles are moments away from the first pitch in Baltimore, where Josh Beckett will try to keep his early-season magic going.

8 a.m.: Clay Buchholz couldn't get the Red Sox back to .500, but the surging Josh Beckett has another chance to get the Sox on track when they visit Baltimore on Wednesday night. Beckett has been brilliant in his last three starts with a 2-0 record (both victories came after a Boston loss) and 1.17 ERA.

Jeremy Guthrie will take the mound for the Orioles. Guthrie, who infamously started for the O's during the Mother's Day Miracle in 2007, is 1-3 with a 3.12 ERA this season.

The Sox need a win to keep up with the first-place Yankees, who have a four-game advantage in the loss column. With a loss, the Sox would fall back into the AL East cellar.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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