Final, Red Sox 6-5: During the first game of the series, the unsung heroes of the bullpen carried the Sox to a win.
In the rubber match, the unsung role players of the Red Sox lineup achieved the feat, as Daniel Nava, Kelly Shoppach and Scott Podsednik belted homers to lead the way.
There's concern with the way that Daniel Bard is issuing walks at a rapid pace, but he was also solid enough to capture the victory.
Alfredo Aceves also was impressive in relief, getting the last four outs to preserve the one-run lead.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 6-5: Orioles reliever Troy Patton did his job, retiring the Red Sox order in 1-2-3 fashion.
Now, it comes down to whether Alfredo Aceves will accomplish his task or if the Orioles' hitters will step up and aid Patton. These are the moments that will play a factor in September during the postseason race in the AL East.
End 8th, Red Sox 6-5: Linsanity in the house. Che-Hsuan Lin proved why he's a defensive specialist, bailing out Vicente Padilla and making a diving catch on Wilson Betemit's hit in right field.
It's a ball that Adrian Gonzalez simply wouldn't have caught because he doesn't have the footspeed to do so.
Alfredo Aceves eventually came in to get the last out and will try to get the save in the ninth.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 6-4: Yup, you just can't make this stuff up. Scott Podsednik makes an immediate impact on the Red Sox offense, clubbing a solo shot.
It's his first home run since Sept. 6, 2010 when he was a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. His last major-league hit before this game took place on Sept. 9, 2010.
End 7th, Red Sox 5-4: Rich Hill bounced back from last time's shaky appearance, striking out Luis Exposito and Xavier Avery.
Then Vicente Padilla came out against Robert Andino. It was the first time he's come out in awhile with the bases empty. Well, he responded by striking out Andino to end the inning.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 5-4: Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis appeared to jumpstart a big inning, hitting two singles.
Will Middlebrooks, however, ended up flying out. In the process, the Sox replaced Youkilis with pinch-runner Che-Hsuan Lin.
It signals that Lin will likely take over in right field while Gonzalez shifts over to first base.
End 6th, Red Sox 5-4: Heading into this one, Andrew Miller was one of the most reliable pitchers out of the bullpen.
Well, he just endured his first blemish, serving up a two-run jack to Nick Johnson. That was Johnson's second homer of the season for those keeping track.
The Orioles are breathing down the Sox' necks right now.
2:45 p.m.: Daniel Bard is coming out for Andrew Miller.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 5-2: Kelly Shoppach's bat is showing signs of life as he blasts Luis Ayala's fastball to the left field stands for a two-run homer.
That's his second homer of the month — and of the season — and credit to him for staying with it, considering Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been getting a good chunk of playing time lately.
And that blast was off a right-hander as well.
2:31 p.m.: Look at that, Daniel Nava continues to add to his second chapter in the majors, belting a solo shot.
It leads to Jake Arrieta getting yanked after giving up a hit to Scott Podsednik, who collected his first hit in a Sox uniform.
End 5th, 2-2: Daniel Bard needed just nine pitches to handle business in that inning.
It helps out his efficiency, as he struck out Robert Andino and got Nick Markakis to ground out into a double play.
Those are the innings that the team is looking for from him. Bard also benefitted from getting his first strikeout of the game.
Mid 5th, 2-2: That was Jake Arrieta's first 1-2-3 inning of the game, helping him absorb some of the long innings from the beginning of the game.
To his credit, Arrieta has mixed his pitches very well and shown a versatile arsenal.
End 4th, 2-2: Adrian Gonzalez may lack speed, but he's still able to track those fly balls pretty well, especially those in foul territory.
But more worrisome to the Red Sox should be Daniel Bard. He walked two more batters in that inning, giving him four — that's his fourth straight start with at least four walks.
Oh yeah, Bard has zero strikeouts in this one. He's at 76 pitches now through four innings.
Mid 4th, 2-2: With another hit in this one, Daniel Nava continues to bring a boost to the offense.
Little by little, he's really establishing a reputation for himself and shedding that whole one-hit wonder label from 2010.
After getting on base, the Red Sox offense couldn't drive him in.
End 3rd, 2-2: Daniel Bard racked up another walk.
Although he got a double play to nix it, he's now walked 26 batters and struck out 26 batters this season.
Not the ideal ratio. He's still struggling with command and efficiency this inning after tossing 57 pitches already.
Mid 3rd, 2-2: Ryan Flaherty made some really impressive plays at second base in the third.
While playing the shift, he bobbled a grounder off David Ortiz' bat, but recovered in time to toss him out. He fired Adrian Gonzalez out on the next at-bat.
Crazy sequence, though, that ended the inning. After Will Middlebrooks doubled, Dustin Pedroia scored and Kevin Youkilis briefly stopped at third before being waved home by third base coach Jerry Royster.
Wrong move as Youkilis was tagged out at home.
End 2nd, Orioles 2-1: Daniel Bard is struggling right now and surrendered a leadoff homer to Nick Johnson in that inning.
Johnson absolutely crushed that pitch. In the next at-bat, Bard didn't hit his spot again, plunking Ryan Flaherty.
His fastball just isn't where it's supposed to be right now.
Mid 2nd, 1-1: A day after hitting a homer, Kevin Youkilis put together a good at-bat to start the first, belting a single.
And right after, Will Middlebrooks added a single of his own, igniting a nice inning for the Red Sox offense.
They also exhausted Arrieta in that inning, making him toss 44 pitches through two innings.
End 1st, Orioles 1-0: Again, not the ideal start for Daniel Bard.
He yielded two singles to start the game while walking a batter. After his last start against the Phillies, Bobby Valentine said Bard's walks weren't acceptable.
He was able to minimize the damage — allowing just one run –compared to allowing an early barrage against the Phillies.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Mike Aviles has continued his strong bat at leadoff, hitting a single to start it off.
But Orioles pitcher Jake Arrieta wouldn't allow anything else, retiring Pedroia, Ortiz and Gonzalez in consecutive at-bats.
That just took 14 pitches for Arrieta to handle that inning.
10:20 a.m.: Here are the lineups.
Mike Aviles, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Gonzalez, RF
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Daniel Nava, LF
Scott Podsednik, CF
Kelly Shoppach, C
Daniel Bard, P
Xavier Avery, LF
Robert Andino, SS
Nick Markakis, RF
Adam Jones, CF
Chris Davis, 1B
Wilson Betemit, 3B
Nick Johnson, DH
Ryan Flaherty, 2B
Luis Exposito, C
Jake Arrieta, P
8 a.m. ET: After winning the first game of the series against the Orioles, the Red Sox dropped the second one and enter Wednesday's rubber match looking to claim the series. The Red Sox will have Daniel Bard, who is 3-5 with a 4.85 ERA, take the hill in this one.
Bard didn't get off to a strong start last time out walking three of the first four batters that he faced. In the process, his velocity was also much lower than expected. Bard will attempt to rebound from the struggles against counterpart Jake Arrieta, who is 2-4 with a 4.72 ERA. Arrieta allowed just one run in seven innings against the Nationals on Friday.
For more analysis, follow NESN.com's live blog. Tune into NESN's pregame show at 11:30 a.m.. First pitch is scheduled for 12:35 p.m.
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