Orioles - 100 200 005 - 8 6 0 Red Sox - 012 002 000 - 5 5 2It looked good for the Red Sox. After waiting out a 43-minute rain delay in the top of the sixth, Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit back-to-back home runs to give Boston a 5-3 lead.
Junichi Tazawa and Andrew Bailey breezed through the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, each striking out two batters. Joel Hanrahan, looking for his 100th career save, had the ninth. He faced seven batters, allowed five runs, and walked off the mound to very loud boos.
Hanrahan allowed a home run to Chris Davis to dead center field to start the frame. But then he got two outs, so things looked all right. Ryan Flaherty (0-for-17 to start the season) shot an opposite field single to left, and pinch-runner Alex Casilla stole second as Nolan Reimold walked on four pitches. After a mound visit, Hanrahan walked Nate McLouth, although ball four was well within the strike zone - which should have ended the game. Home plate umpire Cory Blaser had a very difficult time telling balls from strikes at various points throughout the evening.
Here's a good example of Blaser's stunning incompetence. Pitch 4 should have been called strike three on McLouth in the first inning. Instead, it was ball two. McLouth walked and scored the first run of the game.
Back to the 9th: After the McLouth walk loaded the bases, Hanrahan uncorked a wild pitch that scored Casilla with the tying run. Hanrahan's next pitch was blasted by Manny Machado into the Monster seats for a three-run dong. Boston went down quietly in the bottom of the ninth against Baltimore closer Jim Johnson.
The blown calls hurt, naturally - and added to the Everestesque pile of evidence showing that we need robot umps - but after he got the second out, Hanrahan threw 18 pitches, any one of which could have ended the game. Bottom line: he failed to get that final out.
In addition to his home run, Saltalamacchia also had two doubles and two RBI. Jacoby Ellsbury had an RBI triple in the third inning.
Ellsbury, CFStephen Drew has been activated for tonight's game. Jose Iglesias was optioned to Pawtucket.
In addition, John Lackey had been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right bicep strain, and 26-year-old right-hander Alex Wilson has been recalled from Pawtucket. You can read a little about Wilson here.