Written by Chris Slade
Today's rubber match started at 1:35 ET with Kevin Gausman and Jake Peavy on the mound. The O's scored first in the 4th when Delmon Young reached on a throwing error that scored Nelson Cruz from third. Caleb Joseph added a second run with a sac fly in the 6th. David Ortiz made it a 2-1 game in the 6th with an RBI single. The Orioles put up four runs in the 6th, highlighted by a two-run single from J.J. Hardy. But, the Red Sox were able to quicly respond, putting up a five-run 7th to tie the game, stringing together a slew of singles against four different relievers in the process. The game remained tied after nine, sending us to extra innings. Hardy drove in David Lough from third on a single in the 12th and Zach Britton picked up the save to secure a series win.
Kevin Gausman stuff looked crisp today through the first four innings, dialing up the heat into the upper 90's on the corners for strikeouts while also changing speeds effectively with a his nasty 84-86 MPH fading changeup. The Red Sox were finally able to start getting to him in the 5th and 6th. With his pitch count over 100 with one out in the 6th, Buck made the call for a lefty to face David Ortiz. Gausman looked composed today and while the Red Sox were able to work the count against him, he did a nice job of not giving in and grooving one over the middle. He notched 7 strikeouts and left the game with a chance to win.
Final Line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 BB, 7 K, No Decision
T.J. McFarland took over for Gausman with one out in the 6th to face David Ortiz but allowed an RBI single which accounted for the lone run charged to Gausman. McFarland worked out of the inning with the O's still ahead.
The 7th inning was quite the bugaboo for the Orioles as they just couldn't get outs in time to prevent the Red Sox from tying the game up. The inning started off with T.J. McFarland serving up an innocent little solo homer to David Ross to make it a 6-2 game.
After allowing a single with one out to Jackie Bradley, Buck made the call for Ryan Webb who proceeded to allow three consecutive singles before striking out Dustin Pedroia.
Brian Matusz then entered to face David Ortiz but Ortiz lined an RBI single to cut the lead to 6-5.
Queue Tommy Hunter to face Mike Napoli and prevent another run from scoring. Didn't happen. Napoli tied the game up with yet another RBI single, before Hunter worked out of the long inning. Hunter pitched a scoreless 8th to keep the game tied.
Brad Brach, the long relief specialist of late, was called on to pitch the 9th, 10th, and 11th and did not disappoint. He allowed just two baserunners over his three scoreless innings while striking out four. He picked up a deserved win.
Zach Britton retired the side in the 12th, including a called strike three to Napoli to end the game.
Defensive Highlights/ Lowlights
Caleb Joseph threw out Dustin Pedroia in the 9th to prevent a winning run from being in scoring position. Nice work.
David Lough had a key outfield assist in the bottom of the 12th when David Ortiz inexplicaby went for second base on an opposite field line drive that one hopped the monster.
Key Moments In The Game
Brian Matusz has an excellent and well-documented track record against David Ortiz and was brought on with two outs to stop the bleeding and do what he normally does: get Ortiz out. Instead, Papi came through with a clutch RBI single to make it a 6-5 game.
David Lough came up with a huge leadoff triple in the top of 12th that set up the Orioles well to take a 7-6 lead, which they did.
Other Notes/ Musings
The umpire initially called Pedroia safe then instantly changed his motion into an out call on his stolen base attempt in the 9th. A confused John Farrell wanted to doublecheck the out call and it was ultimately upheld.
Brian Butterfield, the Red Sox third base coach, was randomly ejected in the 7th inning. He must have yelled something out of line on one of the pitch calls to the batter.
Let's hear it for Brad Brach who has been money of late, pitching 12 scoreless innings over his last 7 innings, while picking up 4 wins.
Nelson Cruz has 8 hits in his last two games. Beast.
With the win, the O's remain in sole possession on first in the AL East. That felt great to type.
Orioles head to Washington tomorrow night, where Chris Tillman will match up with Nationals ace, Stephen Strasburg.
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