Red Sox - 000 000 040 - 4 10 0 Orioles - 000 310 01x - 5 10 0The Red Sox erased Baltimore's 4-0 lead in a span of four batters, against a trio of Orioles relievers. But Daniel Bard (seemingly in an eye-blink) allowed three consecutive singles in the bottom of the inning, and the Orioles won the second game of the series 5-4.
Jacoby Ellsbury singled to right off Jeremy Accardo (on an 0-2 pitch) to start the top of the eighth inning and Dustin Pedroia walked. Lefty Clay Rapada came in and Adrian Gonzalez smacked his full-count pitch to left for an RBI single. Buck Showalter then called on Koji Uehara, who promptly surrendered a three-run home run to Kevin Youkilis.
After that game-tying rally, Boston's prospects seemed bright, so the Baltimore eighth was pure annoyance and frustration. Nick Markakis grounded a hard single into right and took second when Derrek Lee lined a hit to left. Bard's first pitch to Vlad Guerrero got away from Jason Varitek for a passed ball and the runners advanced to second and third.
Bard's next pitch was in the dirt and Vlad swung and missed, but the ball again got by Varitek. Markaskis raced home, and Varitek shovelled the ball to Bard, who was covering the plate. It didn't look like Bard had a shot at a tag, but his left foot was perfectly placed to block Markakis's left hand from reaching the dish, and Bard was able to tag him out!
Lee took third on that play, and there was still only one out, but it felt like Boston had dodged a big bullet. Then Vlad lined the next pitch into center field and Lee trotted home with the go-ahead run.
Facing Kevin Gregg in the ninth, Marco Scutaro (hitting for Varitek) flied out to right, Ellsbury popped to third, and Pedroia grounded to third. Nine pitches, and the game was over.
Beckett (6-7-4-0-4, 92) allowed three runs in a span of only seven pitches in the fourth. Lee doubled, and Luke Scott and Adam Jones hit back-to-back home runs. (Lee's double was actually a very catchable pop fly to short right center. Pedroia seemed ready and able to grab it, but he peeled away at the very last second and the ball dropped closest to Ellsbury.) Two singles, a wild pitch, and a sac fly scored another Oriole run in the fifth inning.
In addition to Yook's dong, the other bright spots for the Sox were: Ellsbury's double and two singles, two hits each from Gonzalez and David Ortiz, and a single and two walks from J.D. Drew.
Josh Beckett / Jeremy Guthrie
Beckett has made four starts this season, and his last three have been excellent; he has allowed only three runs in 23 innings (1.17 ERA), with five walks and 24 strikeouts. Opposing batters are hitting .107/.173/.173.
After bottoming out with a .156 average and .229 OBP on April 10, Jacoby Ellsbury has hit .267/.340/.533 in 50 plate appearances. ... Jason Varitek gets the nod behind the plate tonight. After starting only three of Boston's first 12 games, he has started seven of the last 11 games.
The Red Sox hit Guthrie very well. Among David Ortiz's 10 hits against Guthire are five doubles and three home runs.
AL East: White Sox/Yankees at 7 PM; Blue Jays/Rangers and Rays/Twins at 8 PM.