Orioles - 004 000 030 - 7 14 2 Red Sox - 102 200 000 - 5 10 1Playoff Tito was in the house, calling on Daniel Bard to pitch the seventh inning. Down 4-1 in the third, Boston had fought back - with Adrian Gonzalez's two-run dong in the third and a group effort in the fourth, highlighted by Mike Aviles's RBI single and Jacoby Ellsbury's 200th hit of the season (which also extended his hitting streak against the Orioles to a record (?) 32 games) - and now led 5-4.
Bard retired the Birds in order in the seventh, but in the eighth he gave up two singles sandwiched around a strikeout. Jonathan Papelbon jogged in to nail down a 5-out save - but after striking out Chris Davis looking with a fastball at the letters, Nolan Reimold grounded an 0-2 pitch into left for a single, loading the bases. Robert Andino quickly cleared them, lining a full-count pitch down the right field line for a three-run double, giving the Orioles a 7-5 lead.
Pedro Strop set down the bottom of the order in the eighth and Jim Johnson got the save in the ninth. After Ellsbury reached on catcher's interference, Dustin Pedroia grounded into a double play, and Gonzalez grounded out 3-1.
Bedard lasted only 2.2 innings (2.2-5-4-2-0, 76), though he was charged with only one earned run. He threw a jaw-dropping 51 pitches in the third inning, facing eight batters and recording only two outs.
The Yankees beat the Rays 5-0. Boston's wild card lead over Tampa Bay remains at 2 games, with the Angels 3.5 GB.
Rick VandenHurk / Erik Bedard
Ellsbury, CFBedard makes his first start since September 3. He has been sidelined with a balky knee and a lat muscle strain near his left shoulder. While Bedard is not on a strict pitch limit, Terry Francona said 100 pitches "might be a bit much".
Vanden Hurk is a September call-up, who made two relief appearances, then lasted only 2.1 innings (53 pitches) in a start on September 10. In his six innings this month, he has allowed five hits (single, double, three home runs), five walks, and four runs. .. There is no reason why the bats should cool off at all.
Game thread. ... Rays/Yankees at 7 PM.