April 20, 2014

G19: Red Sox 6, Orioles 5

Orioles - 300 011 000 - 5 12  3
Red Sox - 000 003 201 - 6  8  0
Down 5-0 in the sixth inning, the Red Sox rallied for a dynamic walk-off win thanks to some timely hitting (Jonny Gomes's three-run homer in the sixth) and three Baltimore errors (Boston's final three runs were unearned).

Dustin Pedroia scored the winning run with two outs in the ninth when Baltimore left fielder David Lough uncorked a very wild throw to the plate on a shallow line out by Mike Carp. Pedroia wasn't attempting to score on the play, so Lough didn't actually need to throw home, but when the baseball sailed far to the left of catcher Matt Wieters and to the backstop, FY sprinted towards the plate and slid home with the game-winner.

The night had a delirious finish, but a depressing beginning. The game was perhaps two minutes old when Nelson Cruz crushed a Peavy (5.2-10-5-4-5, 102) pitch - only his fifth of the evening - over the Wall. Peavy then walked Chris Davis, and allowed singles to Adam Jones (4-for-5) and Wieters. J.J. Hardy's sac fly made it 3-0 before the Red Sox had even batted.

And while Boston had at least one runner on base in four of the first five innings against Jimenez (5.1-4-3-3-5, 107), it was mostly a tease. Grady Sizemore walked, stole second, and was stranded at third in the first. Brock Holt was left at second in the third. Gomes's two-out double in the fourth was wasted. Xander Bogaerts singled to start the fifth, but never advanced.

On the other side, Peavy seemed allergic to a 1-2-3 inning. He gave up a walk and single with two outs in the second, a leadoff single in the third, and a two-out walk in the fourth. In the fifth, the Orioles finally made him pay. With two outs, Wieters and Hardy singled, and Lough doubled to make it 4-0. A leadoff double in the fifth by Ryan Flaherty and Jones's two-out single gave the Birds a five-run pad.

Boston began its comeback with one out in the sixth when David Ortiz singled. After Mike Napoli drew a full-count walk, Gomes went deep to left for his second dong of the season. In the sixth, Holt singled with one out. An error by Hardy at shortstop allowed Grady Sizemore to reach base, and Pedroia's single loaded the bases. Ortiz singled one run home and a second run scored - the game-tying run - on Flaherty's throwing error on Napoli's grounder.

Baltimore threatened to re-take the lead against Andrew Miller in the top of the ninth when Jones doubled towards the left field corner. Wieters grounded to second and Jones took third. Miller induced Steve Lombardozzi (who replaced Hardy in the seventh) to tap weakly back to the mound for an important second out. Then Edward Mujica came in and struck out Lough.

Brian Matusz fanned Sizemore to start the home half of the ninth, but Pedroia lofted a double off the top of the Wall in left. Replays were inconclusive whether it was a double or a game-winning home run - a fan's glove interfered with the ball's flight - and the original call was upheld.

On a 2-0 count to Ortiz, Matusz threw a wild pitch that gave Pedroia third. Ortiz was walked intentionally. Darren O'Day came in from the pen and drilled Napoli on the left knee with an errant 1-0 pitch. Napoli crumpled to the ground and was in a considerable amount of pain, but stayed in the game. With the bases loaded, Mike Carp batted for Gomes. He took ball one, then lined out to the opposite field. Lough had run in to shallow left to make the catch. Pedroia was not going to try to score, but Lough let loose with a throw anyway. Jonathan Schoop could have cut it off, keeping Pedroia at third, but he backed out of the way, and the ball sailed to the backstop. Pedroia then raced home, scoring without a throw.

The win lifted Boston's record to 9-10. They can get back to .500 with a win Monday morning in the annual Patriots Day 11 AM contest.
Jake Peavy / Ubaldo Jimenez
Sizemore, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Gomes, LF
Nava, RF
Bogaerts, SS
Pierzynski, C
Holt, 3B
This is ESPN's Sunday Night game, but it starts an hour earlier than usual. (Perhaps so players can get an extra hour of sleep before Monday's 11 AM start.)

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