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O's ride six-run third to matinee win over Red Sox

April 21, 2014
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



MLB PRESS RELEASE

BOSTON -- How would Sunday night's devastating walk-off loss and the incredibly quick turnaround, in Boston's Patriots Day tradition of an 11 a.m. ET contest, affect the Orioles?

For the better. Barely. The O's, not even 12 hours removed from blowing a six-run lead by the game's start, again piled on the Red Sox early for a six-run cushion before holding on for a 7-6 win. Baltimore proved it had some staying power, withstanding a furious Boston rally that coincided with the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon attacks.

With the tying and winning runs in scoring position in the ninth, closer Tommy Hunter got Mike Carp to ground out to first base and end the nail-biting affair.

The emotional contest puts Baltimore (9-9) back at .500 and was again dominated by the offense as the O's silenced the sellout crowd at Fenway Park early. The O's also caught a big break in the eighth as the Red Sox, already with one run across, ran themselves out of the inning.

Tasked to protect a three-run lead, Darren O'Day served up a leadoff homer to Mike Napoli to start the eighth, and the Red Sox put a pair of runners aboard one out later with Xander Bogaerts' hit and an infield single from Daniel Nava. Nava's hit, which deflected off O'Day's glove, prompted manager Buck Showalter to go with lefty Brian Matusz. Matusz struck out pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera, and Bogaerts got caught up trying to advance to third base, with backup catcher Steve Clevenger firing to second baseman Steve Lombardozzi to get him caught in a brief rundown.

The Orioles jumped out to an early lead, scoring six runs in the third inning to chase Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz from the game. Buchholz, who slept at Fenway Park given the quick turnaround, never looked awake in the morning contest, with the O's putting up seven hits Buchholz exited after Jonathan Schoop's RBI pushed the Orioles to a 6-0 lead.

Chris Davis tied a career high in reaching base in his 17th consecutive game, drawing two walks to raise his total to 12. He also singled and scored in the third. Things got started in Buchholz's final inning with five straight singles, beginning with Lombardozzi. Adam Jones' groundout also scored a run and Clevenger delivered an RBI double before Buchholz left in favor of Burke Badenhop.

The Orioles wouldn't score again until Clevenger crossed the plate on Ryan Flaherty's single in the eighth, as Boston's bullpen recovered nicely after Buchholz's abrupt exit.

Wei-Yin Chen was the second consecutive Orioles starter to dominate early, not allowing a hit until David Ortiz's fourth-inning single. Chen, who walked Dustin Pedroia to start the frame, struck out Napoli and got Jonny Gomes to line out into an inning-ending double play to keep Boston off the scoreboard.

The lefty couldn't escape trouble in the fifth, however, with the Red Sox again putting two men on with a walk and a single before Jackie Bradley Jr. hit an RBI ground-rule double to right field. The Red Sox added on with a sacrifice fly and Pedroia double down the left-field line to cut the O's lead to three. Chen got Ortiz to ground out to end the inning and his afternoon, as the lefty exited in favor of right-hander Ryan Webb.

Webb struck out the side in the sixth before lefty Zach Britton came on and served up his first earned run of the year on a one-out solo homer from David Ross. Ross sent a 2-1 pitch into the Green Monster Seats to snap a 12 1/3-inning scoreless stretch for Britton and bring Boston within two.


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