Orioles - 103 020 101 - 8 15 0 Red Sox - 000 120 100 - 4 11 0Nick Markakis lined John Lackey's first pitch of the game down the left field line. The ball landed foul, kicking up only dirt to the left of the chalk line.
Third base umpire Will Little signaled a fair ball and Markakis pulled in at second with a double.
Boston manager John Farrell challenged the call. As two umpires donned headsets to listen as the play was reviewed, Fenway Park's scoreboard showed replays of the ball landing foul. So now everyone in the park knew the ball was not a double. After a delay of roughly three minutes, the word came from New York that Little's initial call was upheld. It was a double.
It's bad enough that an umpire, properly aligned over the foul line (as I assume Little was), cannot make the correct call on a ball landing only several yards away, and directly in front of him. But to have clear, convincing replays showing the ball landing in foul territory - no white chalk dust was kicked up by the baseball - and STILL have the wrong call stand is maddening.
On a call so obvious that still gets called wrong, one has to wonder: why? Are the officials reviewing the plays in New York legally blind? Are they flipping a coin to determine their decisions? Perhaps they are continuing to punish Farrell, who expressed his distinct lack of faith in the replay system after another blown call (in the Yankees series) was upheld? If the answers to those questions are "no", then why are clear calls being blown? Will we hear after this game - as we did after that Yankees game - that MLB did not have access to all of the replays shown on television - a patently absurd excuse? With each blown call, MLB umpires are revealing themselves as nothing but incompetent arbiters, not worthy of holding jobs in the major leagues.
Naturally, Markakis ended up scoring in the inning, on Adam Jones's single. In the third, Baltimore put the game out of reach, scoring three times, and taking a 4-0 lead. Markakis knocked in one run with a "real" double to right field and Nelson Cruz singled two more runners home.
Lackey (5.1-10-6-4-6, 100) allowed six runs for the second consecutive start.
It was another frustrating night for the Red Sox bats. They loaded the bases in the second with one out, and could not score. And when it looked like they might come back, they stranded two runners in each of the fourth and fifth innings.
Sizemore, LFRyan Roberts has been designated for assignment; Brock Holt has been called up from Pawtucket.
Boston is home for the next seven games, four against Baltimore and three against the Yankees.