Orioles - 101 300 010 000 000 03 - 9 15 2 Red Sox - 000 140 010 000 000 00 - 6 16 3Orioles DH Chris Davis struck out in his first five plate appearances, then hit into a double play. He finished the day 0-for-8. But he also threw two scoreless innings, and was the winning pitcher.
Darnell McDonald pinch-ran for David Ortiz in the eighth ining and scored the tying run. He came in to pitch the top of the seventeenth and allowed a three-run home run to Adam Jones. McDonald batted in the bottom half with a chance to re-tie the game, but he grounded into a game-ending double play. (McDonald also pitched an inning on August 26, 2011, in a 15-5 loss to Oakland.)
Bobby Valentine must have assumed that if the other team puts a position player in to pitch, that he had to do it also. If Baltimore if going to waive the white flag, that is no reason for the Red Sox to do the same. (In his post-game conference, Valentine said something like it wasn't fair to the Orioles to have an actual pitcher still out there for the Sox. I'm waiting for the exact quote before popping off.)
This was the first game in which position players pitched for both teams since an end-of-the-season game in 1925. The last game in which both the winning and losing pitchers were position players was September 28, 1902. That was the final game of the season, and the White Sox and Browns used only position players to pitch the entire game.
Each position player was his team's ninth pitcher of the day. The 18 pitchers used was a record for a game at Fenway Park, and one shy of the MLB record of 19, set by the Yankees and Rays in last year's final regular season game.
Davis was the first player to go 0-for-8 and end up as the winning pitcher since Rube Waddell won a 20-inning complete game against the Red Sox on July 4, 1905.
The teams combined to throw 570 pitches. It was the most pitches thrown in an American league game since a Red Sox/White Sox game in July 2006 (see below).
It was the longest Red Sox game by innings since July 9, 2006, when they lost 6-5 in 19 innings to the White Sox on the day before the All-Star break.
Adrian Gonzalez struck out on three pitches against Davis in the seventeenth, ending an 0-for-8 afternoon. Gonzalez is the first Red Sox player in history to go 0-for-8 from the cleanup spot. (Here is a list of the eight Boston players who have gone 0-for-at-least-8 since 1918; two of them happened in that 2006 game!)
The Orioles put their leadoff man on base in the tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, and fifteenth innings. The Red Sox bullpen and infield kept all of those runners from advancing. Boston turned a total of six double plays in the game, including four in extra innings.
Boston nearly won the game in the sixteenth when Marlon Byrd tried to score from first on Mike Aviles's two-out double to left-center. The ball beat Byrd to the plate and he went in hard, but could not jar the ball loose.
Clay Buchholz (3.2-7-5-4-4, 81) was dreadful (again), allowing two solo home runs to J.J. Hardy and a three-run bomb to Robert Andino. Buchholz has allowed at least five runs in all six of his starts this year, and his ERA is up to 9.09. No Red Sox pitcher has given up at least five runs in six consecutive starts since Red Ruffing (1925).
Down 5-0, Ryan Sweeney singled home Mike Aviles in the fourth. Sweeney finished the day with four hits; Aviles had three.
In the fifth, Will Middlebrooks crushed a grand slam over everything in left. Middlebrooks is the first Red Sox player in history with an extra-base hit in each of his first three games in the major leagues.
The Boston bullpen (not including McDonald) allowed one unearned run in 12.1 innings.
It took 39 innings, but the Orioles completed a three-game sweep of the Red Sox for the first time since June 10-12, 1994 - Will Middlebrooks was only five years old - and moved into first place in the AL East. The Red Sox (11-16, 7.5 GB) have lost five consecutive games, and have dropped 10 of their last 11 home games.
Tommy Hunter / Clay Buchholz
Aviles, SSBuchholz has allowed at least five runs in each of his five starts this season: 7, 5, 6, 5, 6. His ERA is 8.69 and his WHIP is 1.897. But there is some good news! ... He's 3-1!
The Red Sox are #2 in the AL with 5.3 runs per game, but seven games of 10+ runs have helped that average. In exactly half of the Red Sox's games this year (13 of 26), they have scored three runs or fewer.