Red Sox - 002 003 210 - 8 14 0 Orioles - 004 100 010 - 6 9 0
Tonight's come-from-behind win was truly a team effort. Every member of the starting lineup got at least one hit (Will Middlebrooks led the way with three, and Che-Hsuan Lin got the first hit of his career) and eight of the nine starters scored a run. The Red Sox have won nine of their last 11 games.
After the Red Sox wiped out a three-run deficit and tacked on some insurance, the bullpen trio of Andrew Miller, Vicente Padilla, and Alfredo Aceves held the line. Padilla and Aceves were both working for the third game in a row.
Clay Buchholz (5.1-6-5-4-2, 94) retired the first six Orioles, but he imploded in the third, allowing three singles and three walks (two of which came with the bases loaded) before recording an out.
David Ortiz began the comeback in the sixth with a mammoth home run to right-center. Adrian Gonzalez doubled, but he had to stay put as Middlebrooks reached on an infield single to shortstop. A grounder to the right side moved the runners up and Evil Bert scored on Daniel Nava's sac fly. WMB took third on the sac and his gyrations along the third base line caused Tommy Hunter to balk him home, tying the game at 5-5.
Buchholz left in the sixth with one out and two Orioles on base, but Miller got two quick outs on only three pitches.
With one out in the top of the seventh, Mike Aviles singled to left, Dustin Pedroia doubled to right, and Ortiz was walked intentionally to load the bases. Gonzalez's fly out to left scored a run and Middlebrooks's hard single to center scored another, giving the Red Sox a 7-5 lead.
Lin grounded a single to left with two down in the eighth, went to second as Aviles reached on a strikeout-wild pitch, and scored on Pedroia's single.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Orioles singled three times off Rich Hill in the bottom of the eighth, cutting the lead to 7-6, but Padilla stranded two runners by getting a popup to shallow left and a strikeout of Nick Johnson. (Padilla has stranded all 15 inherited runners this season.)
Aceves got three groundballs in the ninth. The win improved the Red Sox's record to 21-21; it's only the third time they have been at .500 this year. Boston is now tied for fourth place with the Yankees, who were shutout by the Royals 6-0.
Clay Buchholz / Tommy Hunter
Aviles, SSI'm not sure if Games 42-44 can be termed as big games in a 162-game season, but this feels like an important series to me. A Red Sox sweep would put the team only 3.5 games out of first.