In a back and forth game that went to extra innings and provided fans with a free inning of baseball, the Red Sox ended up falling to the Orioles 5-4 last night. After the Orioles jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first, Mike Napoli broke out of his early-season skid and tied the game up with a two-run homer in the second. Heading into the ninth inning Baltimore led by one and it looked like they had the game in the bag until Pablo Sandoval batted in Dustin Pedroia in from third base. With that, in the tenth inning it was looking like it was the Red Sox who had it in the bag now, after Xander Bogaerts hit a solo shot to put the team up 5-4.
This would not be the case, though. With Koji on the mound to try and wrap things up, he let up a triple and then a sac fly which tied the game before David Lough hit the first walk-off homerun of his career. With the loss the Sox must win today to avoid losing their second straight series.
- It was nice to see Napoli’s bat work for virtually the first time this season. He had been 0-for-10 in his last ten at-bats but after going 2-3 with a crucial homerun and a single he was able bring his .143 batting average up to .169. Still terrible, but hopefully last night was a step in the right direction.
- Justin Masterson lasted seven innings. Though he let up three runs in the process, with a rotation as pedestrian as this one, the starting pitcher not getting shelled is always a good thing.
- Bogaerts hit his first homerun of the season and it could not have come at a better time during the game for the team. Granted, it was in vain as the save opportunity, and game, was ultimately blown.
- Come on, Koji. Blown saves happen and are part of the game, but be better. Having a strong bullpen and closer will be so crucial this season so hopefully what happened last night does not become a regular occurrence.
- The bats were working last night but not to the best of the team’s ability. At one point Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen retired 12 straight, which simply should not happen with the lineup the Sox can put out on a nightly basis.
- Though it didn’t take place on the field, it is important to mention that fans were asked no to leave the game during the ninth inning because of the thousands of protestors that had taken to the streets outside of the park as a part of a Freddie Gray rally. Though they were able to leave after the game ended, it was deemed an “ongoing public safety issue” for a time. The situation in Baltimore right now is simply terrible and hopefully can be resolved peacefully without any more violence.
Starting Pitcher Rewind
Good but not great stuff out of Masterson. Seven innings and three earned runs is average, and while he only struck out three he also only allowed one walk. After the no-decision his record remains 2-0, and with the three earned runs his ERA sits high at 5.16.
After missing the chance to lock up the series win last night, the Sox will go back to work this afternoon and try to take two-out-of-three before coming back to Boston to face Toronto and begin a nine game home stand. A win today would be huge as it would give the team some momentum before facing three more divisional opponents during the home stand. Wade Miley will be on the mound, and if he can bring the same stuff he had in his last start the team should be in good shape.