Monday, July 7, 2014

Game of the Day (7/6/14)

Orioles 7, Red Sox 6 (12). Boston sent former Cy Young winner Jake Peavy to the mound; Baltimore replied with a pitcher they hope might someday become Jake Peavy in Kevin Gausman.

The Orioles loaded the bases in the top of the first with a single by Nick Markakis, a walk to Adam Jones, and a Nelson Cruz single, but Peavy retired Delmon Young and JJ Hardy to strand all three runners. After that, the starters threw two perfect innings each; the next runner did not reach until Xander Bogaerts singled with two outs in the third.

Baltimore scored the game's first run in the top of the fourth when Cruz doubled and Young reached on a Bogaerts error to score him. Boston threatened in the bottom of the inning on a Dustin Pedroia single and a David Ortiz double, but Gausman struck out the next two hitters to leave both runners in scoring position. Caleb Joseph and Adam Jones both singled in the fifth, but Peavy stranded both of them, and Gausman countered a walk with a double play in the bottom of the inning.

Young was hit by a pitch to open the sixth, and a Manny Machado single and a Ryan Flaherty walk loaded the bases with one out. Joseph then hit a sac fly to score Young and increase the lead to 2-0. Gausman walked Brock Holt and allowed a one-out single to Pedroia in the bottom of the sixth; TJ McFarland relieved and gave up an RBI single to Ortiz, but then coaxed a double play from Mike Napoli to keep Baltimore in front.

Then came the exorbitant seventh inning. Burke Badenhop took the mound in the top of the inning and gave up singles to Steve Pearce, Jones, and Cruz, scoring one run. Young flied out deep enough to advance the remaining runners to second and third, and Badenhop was relieved by Junichi Tazawa. Hardy greeted the newcomer with a two-run single, and Machado and Flaherty singled as well, making it a 6-1 Baltimore lead with runners on the corners and one out. Joseph flied to center, and Machado was thrown out trying to score, finally ending the inning after what must have seemed like irreparable damage.

The Red Sox rallied with startling promptness in the bottom of the inning. David Ross hit a one-out homer, and McFarland also allowed a single to Jackie Bradley before being pulled for Ryan Webb. Bogaerts greeted Webb with a single, but the kind of single that scored Bradley from first (only in Fenway). Holt singled Bogaerts to third and stole second, Daniel Nava singled Bogaerts home, and Pedroia whiffed for the second out. Brian Matusz was brought in to face Ortiz and served up an RBI single; Tommy Hunter replaced Matusz and also gave up an RBI hit to Napoli, tying the game at 6.

After the profligate run allowance of the seventh, the bullpens calmed things considerably in the eighth. Andrew Miller allowed only a Markakis single in the top of the inning, while Hunter yielded only a single to Bradley in the bottom. Koji Uehara worked around a Hardy walk in the ninth; Brad Brach gave up a Pedroia single and an Ortiz walk in the bottom of the inning, but Pedroia was caught stealing while Ortiz was hitting, declawing the potential rally and sending the game to extras.

Flaherty singled in the top of the tenth, but Uehara picked him off. Brach was spotless in the bottom of the inning, and neither Edward Mujica nor Brach allowed a baserunner in the eleventh. Baltimore got to Mujica in the twelfth, however, as David Lough led off with a triple and Hardy singled him home. Zach Britton came on for the save chance in the bottom of the inning; Ortiz singled, but was thrown out trying to stretch the hit, and Britton encountered no other trouble.

When it rains, it pours: Nine of the game's 13 runs were scored in the seventh inning, coming on 13 of the game's 31 hits. The Sox came out on top for the duration of the big inning; sadly for them, the Orioles outplayed them in the other 11.

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