Written by Chris Slade
Tonight's pitching matchup featured Chris Tillman on the mound for the Orioles and John Lackey on the hill for the Red Sox. Lackey brought his A game tonight as he held the O's lineup without a single hit through the first six innings. Tillman, meanwhile ran into some trouble in the 2nd inning when he surrendered a 2 run homer to Stephen Drew and an RBI double to Dustin Pedroia to give the Red Sox an ealry 3-0 lead. Tillman would settle in and cruise through the next four innings. Adam Jones broke up the no-no and shutout bid in the 7th with a moonshot over the green monster. Unfortunately, that's all the O's offense could come up with on the night as Lackey went the distance, throwing a complete game two-hitter for the 3-1 win.
Chris Tillman entered this game carrying a 4-1 record with a 2.15 ERA in nine career starts against the Red Sox. Pretty good track record. For the first few innings, that didn't look to be the case..
The Red Sox put runners on the corners with one out on the first but Tillman was able to work out of the jam by striking out Mike Napoli on a curveball and getting Mike Carp to line out to left field.
The 2nd innings was an eventful one for Tillman that included three runs scored, three doubles, and a home run allowed. But, the three outs that were recorded? All via the strikeout. After Stephen Drew homered, the next two batters, Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Dustin Pedroia doubled followed by a walk to Daniel Nava. Just when it looked like things could get out of hand, Tillman beared down and struck out Ortiz and Napoli to end the inning.
After the 2nd, it was smooth sailing for Tillman who cruised his way through 7 innings without allowing any further scoring. Unfortunatey, his offense wasn't able to pick him up this time and Tillman would ultimately be saddled with the loss.
Final Line: 7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 8 K, Loss
Darren O'Day made his glorious return to the O's bullpen today and entered in the 8th inning to face one batter, Mike Napoli, who grounded out to second.
Brian Matusz was then brought on to to face the next two batters, Gomes and Saltalamacchia, and retired them both to end the inning.
What hitting? Through the first six innings the Orioles managed just a pair of walks against Lackey courtesy of Brian Roberts in the 3rd and Nate McLouth in the 6th. Mr. Jones finally awoke the sleeping dragon in the 7th by hammering a hanging slider over the green monster, an absolute no doubter. J.J. Hardy recorded the Orioles second and final hit in the 8th inning on a groundabll single into rightfield.
Defensive Highlights/ Lowlights
On a sinking line drive off the bat of Mike Carp (Boston pronunciation: Mike CAHP), Nick Markakis laid out for a beautiful diving catch in rightfield.
Key Moments In The Game
The Red Sox jumping on Tillman early before he really settled in. It gave Lackey an early cushion to work with and he would go on to dominate the O's lineup all night, save for one bad pitch to Jones.
Other Notes/ Musings
Very quick game tonight at 2 hours and 18 minutes. This might be the first game recap for a 7 o'clock game I've finished before 10:00 PM.
19 of the orioles last 25 games have been decided by 2 runs or less. The offense should wake up anyday now, sources tell me.
Glad to have O'Day and his Black Keys walkout music back in the bullpen. Tonight was his first outing since September 7.
The Orioles now head to Tampa for an absolutely crucial four game set with the Rays.
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