Sunday, September 23, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 2, Orioles 1
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- The Red Sox ended their four-game losing skid with a 2-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park. With the loss, the Orioles' winning streak ended at six games.
The game was tied at 1-1 when Dustin Pedroia led off the Sox eighth inning with a double down the right-field line. Teammate Cody Ross followed with a double off the base of the left-field wall to score Pedroia for a 2-1 lead and the Sox were able to hold on for the win, with Andrew Bailey recording his sixth save this season.
Red Sox starter Felix Doubront pitched masterfully. The left-hander worked seven innings and allowed only one run on four hits with two walks and a career-high 11 strikeouts. He tossed 112 pitches (69 for strikes). He had posted nine strikeouts in a game twice this season.
Doubront is only the second Red Sox pitcher to record 10 or more strikeouts this season. Jon Lester posted 12 on Aug. 12 at Cleveland.
The Red Sox gained a 1-0 lead on a heads-up baserunning play by Ross in the bottom of the fourth. With one out and Ross standing on second base, Boston’s Danny Valencia grounded into what should have been a 6-4-3 double play, but an errant throw by Orioles second baseman Robert Andino allowed Ross to score. He had stopped after he rounded third base, but when Ross noticed Baltimore first baseman Mark Reynolds could not handle the throw from Andino, Ross took off for home and slid in safely.
With a 1-0 lead, Doubront was cruising and did not allow a hit until the top of the fifth.
Baltimore collected back-to-back hits to lead off the inning before the Orioles’ Manny Machado provided an RBI single to tie the game at 1.
Doubront settled in and retired seven of the next eight batters he faced before exiting after seven innings.
Reliever Junichi Tazawa retired the side in order in the eighth, and Bailey loaded the bases in the top of the ninth, but finished the job unscathed.
WEB GEM: Ross turned in the defensive play of the game in the top of the first inning. With two outs, the Orioles’ Adam Jones lifted a high, fly ball down the right-field line. There was a blinding sun in the early afternoon hours and Ross, in an all-out sprint, got to the wall just beyond the Pesky Pole, made the catch and then slammed into the wall. Ross’s catch robbed Jones of a possible home run. Ross came away limping after the play, but remained in the game with no ill effects. That catch proved crucial in the one-run game.
REHAB LINE: Red Sox pitcher John Lackey worked two innings (26 pitches) and struck out three during an instructional league intrasquad game in Fort Myers, Fla., on Sunday. The veteran right-hander has been on the disabled list the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last offseason.
UP NEXT: The Red Sox have Monday off before beginning their final two-game set at home against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday. Right-hander Clay Buchholz (11-6, 4.16 ERA) will start for the Red Sox, while left-hander David Price (18-5, 2.58) will get the nod for the Rays.