BOSTON (AP) — Robert Andino’s three-run double in the eighth inning gave the Baltimore Orioles a 7-5 win Tuesday night and ruined a chance for the Boston Red Sox to extend their two-game lead in the AL wild-card race.
Andino’s go-ahead hit came off Jonathan Papelbon, who had gone 21 games since last allowing a run on July 16. It was his second blown save of the season and first since May 9, the last time he entered a game before the ninth inning.
The Red Sox seemed headed for a three-game, wild-card lead over Tampa Bay, which lost to the New York Yankees 5-0 on Tuesday. But their struggles continued as they fell to 4-13 since leading the Rays by nine games on Sept. 3. Boston has seven games remaining and Tampa Bay has nine.
Willie Eyre (2-1) got the win and Jim Johnson picked up his eighth save in 13 opportunities. Daniel Bard (2-9) had runners at first and second with one out when he was replaced by Papelbon.
Papelbon, who had 28 strikeouts in the 21 scoreless outings, struck out Chris Davis for the second out. Then Nolan Reimold singled to short left field, loading the bases, and Andino doubled down the right-field line for his third hit of the game.
The Red Sox wrap up a three-game series with the Orioles on Wednesday night before playing their last six on the road, three each against the New York Yankees and Baltimore. Adrian Gonzalez drove in three runs with a two-run homer and a double for the Red Sox.
They went ahead 1-0 in the first on consecutive doubles by Dustin Pedroia and Gonzalez.
But Baltimore scored four runs in the third when starter Erik Bedard threw 51 pitches and retired just two batters. With one out, Andino singled on a 13-pitch at-bat and scored on Nick Markakis’ two-out double. Vladimir Guerrero then hit a liner to right fielder Josh Reddick who misjudged it by taking a few steps in then had it go off his glove for a two-base error as he went back, allowing Markakis to score.
After walks to Matt Wieters and Adam Jones loaded the bases, Mark Reynolds hit a two-run double.
The Red Sox cut the lead to 4-3 in the third on a double by Pedroia and Gonzalez’s 27th homer of the season.
They went ahead with two runs in the fourth, helped by an error.
With no outs, Marco Scutaro walked, Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled and Mike Aviles singled in the tying run. Jacoby Ellsbury’s single loaded the bases.
After Pedroia struck out, Gonzalez grounded to first baseman Reynolds, who threw home for the force then let the return throw go off his glove. That allowed Gonzalez, who was several feet from the base when the ball got to Reynolds, to reach safely and Aviles to score the tie-breaking run.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)