BOSTON (CBS) – The sun was shining bright in the Fenway Park outfield, but a dark cloud is hanging over the Boston Red Sox.
The Red Sox fell to the Orioles 6-5 in Game One of a day-night doubleheader, losing more ground in the American League Wild Card race.
In the second inning, left fielder Darnell McDonald, a late addition to the lineup when Carl Crawford was scratched with a sore neck, misplayed two balls in the outfield leading to a two-run inning by the Orioles.
McDonald lost one ball in the sun, and dropped another as the Orioles went on top 2-0 in the third. He made up for it by blasting a solo home run in the bottom of the inning, his sixth of the season.
But things got worse for Boston.
With the Orioles up 6-4 in the fifth inning, designated hitter David Ortiz lined what would have likely been an RBI double, possibly a triple, with one man on and two already in. But first base umpire Mike Estabrook called the liner foul, sending the runner back to his base and Ortiz back to the plate. An angered Ortiz flied out to center, slamming his helmet down in front of Estabrook as the inning ended.
The Sox had cut the lead in half after an RBI double by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, followed by an RBI triple by second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Ortiz’s hit would have likely tied the game.
“I know it was (fair); by about a foot and a half,” said Manager Terry Francona said after the game. “I know it’s a tough corner, and he said it. They can’t get replay because it’s not a home run. I asked him ‘can you ask everybody?’ I told him, you hate to tell him, because the guys in the dugout have already seen it. I said ‘I’d like to get this call right.’”
The Sox did not get any help from rookie starter Kyle Weiland, who gave up six runs off five hits over 4.2 innings. He fell to 0-3 on the season with a 7.99 ERA.
Gonzalez drove in two runs for Boston, including Marco Scutaro in the seventh to make it a 6-5 Orioles lead. He is up to 113 RBI for the season.
Out of the bullpen, Alfredo Aceves pitched three scoreless innings, striking out four Orioles.
The loss is Boston’s 12th in the last 15 games. They now lead the idle Tampa Bay Rays by just 1.5 games in the Wild Card standings. The Rays open a four-game series against the Yankees in New York on Tuesday.
John Lackey goes for the Red Sox against Brian Matusz of the Orioles in Game Two of the doubleheader.