Monday, July 07, 2014
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Orioles blow big lead, then edge Red Sox in 12

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[July 07, 2014]  BOSTON -- It was the kind of game the Baltimore Orioles won in 2012 en route to making the playoffs and the Boston Red Sox won last year along the way to the World Series.

Now, it's Baltimore's turn again.

After blowing a five-run lead in the seventh inning, the Orioles pulled out a 7-6 victory in the 12th inning Sunday at Fenway Park when left fielder David Lough tripled and scored on shortstop J.J. Hardy's single through a drawn-in infield.

Orioles closer Zach Britton threw a scoreless bottom of the 12th with help from Lough, who threw out David Ortiz trying to stretch a single into a double. Britton notched his 14th save as the first-place Orioles remained on top in the American League East.

"That's the kind of game that the good teams win," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "It's so easy to say, 'Boy, it wasn't meant to be today,' instead of making it happen."

Brad Brach (4-0) got the win after throwing three scoreless innings in relief -- the ninth, 10th and 11. He struck out four and got his second win of the series. Baltimore pitchers struck out 16 in the game despite allowing up 15 hits.

The Orioles (48-40) won two of three in the weekend series, improving to 6-1 over the past week. The Red Sox (39-49) fell for the fifth time in six games.

"We haven't won the close games," second baseman Dustin Pedroia said, as the Sox fell to 5-8 in extra innings and 15-19 in one-run games. "We've played a lot of one-run games. That's been the difference. One hit, one play being made in each of those games, it's a different story right now."

Orioles designated hitter Nelson Cruz went 3-for-6. Right fielder Nick Markakis, center fielder Adam Jones, third baseman Manny Machado, second baseman Ryan Flaherty and Hardy added two hits apiece in Baltimore's 16-hit attack.

Ortiz went 4-for-5 with two RBIs for the Red Sox, while Pedroia collected three hits, and center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and third baseman Xander Bogaerts each had two hits.

The Red Sox had their chances to score the winning run but ran their way out of rallies. Pedroia was caught trying to steal second with Ortiz at the plate in the ninth inning, and then Ortiz was retired on the basepaths in the 12th.

"We're always going to err on the side of aggressiveness," manager John Farrell said.

Said starter Jake Peavy: "Got to win on this day. I'm as sick of it as you guys are sitting here talking about losing."

Baltimore's bullpen, so effective in recent games, couldn't hold a big late-game lead.

Down 6-1, the Red Sox tied the game with a seventh-inning rally against four Baltimore pitchers.

Catcher David Ross hit a solo homer off T.J. McFarland, and Bogaerts and left fielder Daniel Nava added run-scoring singles off Ryan Webb. The only batter Brian Matusz faced, Ortiz, collected a run-scoring single. Tommy Hunter entered for Baltimore, and first baseman Mike Napoli promptly hit a game-tying single to left.

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However, it only prolonged the inevitable, with the Orioles rallying in the 12th.

Ahead 2-1 when Peavy exited after six innings, the Orioles added four runs in the top of the seventh inning.

Peavy allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out three. Over his past 13 starts, Peavy is 0-7 with a 5.33 ERA. His lone win of the season came on April 25 at Toronto.

Boston trailed 2-0 before Ortiz hit an RBI single in the sixth to slice the lead in half.

In the top of the seventh, first baseman Steve Pearce led off with an infield single against reliever Burke Badenhop, and Pearce went to second on Jones' hit. Cruz's single to center drove in a run, with Jones stopping at second. Both runners moved up on left fielder Delmon Young's flyout to right.

Junichi Tazawa replaced Badenhop, and Hardy greeted him with a two-run single. Machado added a base hit, and Flaherty followed with a single to right that scored Hardy for a 6-1 lead.

Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman pitched 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball. He gave up four hits and two walks while striking out seven.

"I have been out of it for like 2 1/2 hours," Gausman said after his team pulled out the win. "Just walking around, chugging water, trying to get something going -- anything I could do to get us to score some runs."

NOTES: The Orioles recalled RHP Kevin Gausman from the minors to start Sunday, and RHP Ramon Ramirez was designated for assignment. Ramirez appeared in one game this season, throwing a scoreless inning against the Texas Rangers on June 30. ... RHP Preston Guilmet, who served as Baltimore's 26th man in Saturday's doubleheader, was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. He did not pitch Saturday. ... LHP Tommy Layne, Boston's extra player for the doubleheader, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. He got two outs and walked a batter in the Saturday nightcap, his Red Sox debut.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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