Red Sox - 000 100 000 - 1 11 0 Orioles - 001 015 00x - 7 7 0A single ball-strike call in the sixth inning cannot decide a game - there are too many variables after the fact - but a missed call on a checked swing helped the Orioles put up a five-spot on Tuesday night.
Baltimore led 2-1 and had runners at first and second with one out. Matt Weiters tried to check his swing on a 2-2 pitch from Beckett (5.1-6-6-2-2, 86). Home plate umpire Paul Schrieber said Weiters did not swing, but replays showed conclusively that he did. If Schrieber had not blown that call and Beckett had then retired Chris Davis, the score would have remained 2-1. However, after the swing was called ball 3, Weiters's infield single scored one run, Davis's single to center scored another and then Mark Melancon allowed a first-pitch, three-run homer to Mark Reynolds (his second dong of the night). 7-1, Orioles.
A correct call may not have mattered much anyway (and maybe the Orioles would have won that alternate-universe game 33-1), as the Red Sox could not hit with runners on second or third base. Boston collected 11 hits - including three doubles and a triple - but left 12 men on base, stranding runners in every inning but the ninth: 112 112 310.
It was only the fourth Red Sox game since 1993 in which Boston got as many as 11 hits and scored only one run.
Cody Ross scored the lone run when he doubled in the fourth, took third on a groundout, and scored on Carl Crawford's single. Crawford, Ross, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Dustin Pedroia each had two hits; Pedroia doubled and tripled.
Adrian Gonzalez - who began the game with a major league-leading .420 batting average with runners at second and/or third - made the third out in four innings (1st, 3rd, 5th, 9th) and stranded four runners.
Ellsbury, CFThe Red Sox plan to active Andrew Bailey tonight. The man who was supposed to have been Boston's closer suffered a thumb injury in spring training and has not worked in a major league game this year. In six rehab appearances, Bailey pitched 6.1 innings and allowed one run, six hits, and one walk, while striking out 10.
Everything feels normal now. It's all behind me. ... [I]t's strong, just like it was before. It feels good. ... I don't really care [what my role is]. I just want to pitch ... finish the year and get to the playoffs.Beckett's last two starts have not been good. He allowed eight runs in five innings against the Rangers last Wednesday - it was his ninth start allowing at least eight earned runs since 2006 - and he left his July 31 start in the third inning with back spasms. Beckett's problems on the hill may be tied to his fastball velocity, which has declined in each of the last four seasons.
Will Middlebrooks will not need surgery to fix his broken right wrist. Says Bobby Valentine: "It shouldn't be any problem. But then again, who knows."
Adrian Gonzalez is batting .392 since the All-Star break (42-for-107) and .422 (19-for-45) in August. He was recently named the AL co-Player of the Week with Orioles rookie shortstop Manny Machado. ... Dustin Pedroia is hitting .378 (17-for-45) this month.
Tim Britton of the Journal says the team's post-season hopes are dimming - they are 11.5 GB in the East and 5.5 GB in the WC - but not out of the question. Cool Standings has the Red Sox's playoff chances at 12% (up from 9.3% five days ago). Ian Browne also advises fans to keep the faith.