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Red Sox Live Blog: Sox Strand Two Runners In Ninth, Lose 7-6 To Orioles

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
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Jonny Gomes (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Jonny Gomes (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

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Final, 7-6 Orioles: The Sox came close, but fell just short in the ninth inning. Here’s how it happened:

Tommy Hunter, who entered the game 4-for-5 in save opportunities this year, came on to pitch the ninth.

Jackie Bradley Jr. led off by grounding out to first base.

Holt then battled back from a 1-2 count to work the count full. On the 3-2 pitch, Holt sent a chopper up the middle. Lombardozzi ranged to his right and fired quickly to first but missed badly, allowing Holt to reach via error.

Dustin Pedroia stepped to the plate representing the tying run, and for the second day in a row, he smashed a double high off the Green Monster.

David Ortiz, unsurprisingly, was intentionally walked with first base open, and up stepped Mike Napoli.

Mr. Napoli has had quite the whirlwind 14 hours or so, as he took a fastball to the kneecap last night in the ninth inning but stayed in the game to be a part of the walk-off win. He then homered off that same pitcher earlier in this game.

So here he came in a huge situation, bases loaded, one out, with a chance to tie the game with a single and win the game with a blast.

Napoli took four pitches (a called strike missed the plate by about six inches, alas…) to get ahead 3-1 but then grounded to second base. However, it wasn’t hard enough to turn two, and Lombardozzi threw to first to record the second out while Holt scored from third.

Up stepped Mike Carp, who lined out to left field to kick off the game-winning sequence last night. Carp took a strike and then fouled one back to fall behind 0-2, and two pitches later, he grounded out to third base to end the game.

Disappointing ending for the Sox, who fought back valiantly out of the hole Buchholz created but ultimately fell just short.

Middle 9th, 7-5 Orioles: That may have been the quickest half-inning of the season.

Miller got Lombardozzi to weakly line out to first, Lough to pop out to the shortstop and Markakis to fly out to shallow center.

Bradley had to make a nice play to reach around Bogaerts to make that final out, and he’ll be leading off the bottom of the ninth. Let’s see if the Sox can piece together something like they did last night.

End 8th, 7-5 Orioles: Well … that’s one way to end a rally.

The Sox tried to get crafty, sending both Bogaerts and Nava on a hit-and-run with a 2-1 count to Jonathan Herrera, who was pinch hitting for Ross. Herrera fouled that one off, and Matusz then threw ball three.

That’s when things got weird. Bogaerts got caught jumping off second base into his secondary lead a little too sign as Matusz spun off the mound for the pickoff. The problem for him was that neither the shortstop or second baseman was at the bag to take his throw, allowing Bogaerts to slide headfirst safely back into second base. Flaherty caught Bogaerts in the back of the head with his knee while making that catch, and perhaps it affected Bogaerts’ focus.

On the 3-2 pitch, Nava took off for second, but Bogaerts didn’t budge from second base. Herrera struck out swinging, and Bogaerts was stuck between second and third.  Clevenger chased him down and the Orioles got Bogaerts in the rundown to end the inning.

Ugly stuff, and the Sox wasted a big opportunity.

On comes Andrew Miller to pitch the top of the ninth.

Bottom 8th, 1 out, 7-5 Orioles: The Sox have the tying run on base, and Buck Showalter is making a move to the bullpen.

Brian Matusz enters a one-out situation with runners on first and second. Bogaerts singled following a Carp (pinch-hitting for Gomes) ground-out to shortstop. Bogaerts then took off for second as Daniel Nava smashed a grounder back up the middle. O’Day got a piece of the grounder with his glove, deflecting it into no-man’s land. By the time Flaherty was able to grab the ball, he had no play at first base.

That ended the day for O’Day, who allowed three hits while recording just one out.

Bottom 8th, 0 out, 7-5 Orioles: Last night, Darren O’Day hit Mike Napoli in the kneecap with a fastball.

Today, Napoli took O’Day deep.

Napoli led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a solo bomb to left-center, making it once again a two-run game.

Middle 8th, 7-4 Orioles: A bad throw by Xander Bogaerts on what could have been a double play came back to bite the Sox in the eighth.

Clevenger grounded to second base with Jones on first after a single, but Pedroia mishandled the sharply hit grounder. Still, Pedroia was able to get the ball to Bogaerts at the second base bag. Bogaerts stepped off the bag and threw somewhat sidearm to first base, taking Napoli well off the bag to make the catch in the process. Napoli wasn’t able to tag Clevenger on the way by, and he reached.

Schoop then flew out deep to center field, and Clevenger was very heads-up to tag and take second, as the wind carried the fly ball all the way to the track in straightaway center.

Ryan Flaherty then blooped a single into center field, and Bradley’s throw home was way off the mark, allowing Clevenger to score. Ross then fired to second to catch Flaherty to end the inning, but the damage was done.

End 7th, 6-4 Orioles: The Sox had a little something going on after the Ross homer, as Brock Holt lined a single over third base and Dustin Pedroia walked on four pitches.

David Ortiz stepped to the plate with two on and two out, but he grounded out right into the shift for the inning’s final out.

Still, if the Boston bullpen can hold, the Sox are a bloop and a blast away from a tie game.

Bottom 7th, 1 out, 6-4 Orioles: The Baltimore lead is even smaller now, after David Ross just launched a solo homer against Zach Britton over the Monster in left-center. Things are getting good at Fenway.

Middle 7th, 6-3 Orioles: The Sox and O’s hit the seventh-inning stretch, and the score remains 6-3 thanks to the work of Craig Breslow.

He got Lough and Markakis out to start the inning before walking Nelson Cruz. But up stepped Chris Davis, who grounded into the shift. Brock Holt showed good range to track the ball to his left and make the play to end the inning.

The bottom of the order is due up for the Sox.

End 6th, 6-3 Orioles: The O’s went to the bullpen, and made the right call in Ryan Webb.

Webb struck out the side in order, getting Napoli swinging, Gomes looking and Bogaerts waving.

Craig Breslow is coming in to pitch for the Sox.

Middle 6th, 6-3 Orioles: Burke Badenhop, everybody.

He just breezed through a 1-2-3 sixth inning, getting three ground-outs to set the O’s down in order.

Badenhop has pitched 3.2 innings, allowing just one hit and two walks while keeping the O’s from mounting any sort of rally. With Buchholz flopping so badly, Badenhop has really come through for the Sox today.

End 5th, 6-3 Orioles: The Red Sox finally got that rally they’ve been desperate for, putting up a three spot so far in the bottom of the fifth.

Bogaerts led off with a walk, followed by an infield single to deep short by Nava. David Ross grounded to the pitcher, who fired to short to retire Nava, but Ross beat the throw to first base by a half-step. Jackie Bradley then crushed a curveball to right field for a ground-rule double, driving in the first Boston run of the day.

Brock Holt followed that up with a sacrifice fly to center, which scored Ross, and Pedroia then smoked a double past a diving Schoop at third base for an RBI double that cut the Orioles’ lead to 6-3.

Up stepped David Ortiz, who had already reached base twice on the day. Chen painted a pitch on the outside corner to get ahead of Ortiz 1-2, but Ortiz showed patience to take the next two pitches, which were outside. With a full count and the Fenway crowd rising to its feet, Ortiz made solid contact but lined it right into the shift. Lombardozzi initially dropped the line drive, but he recovered in plenty of time to find the ball and retire Ortiz at first base.

Still, it’s a ballgame now.

Middle 5th, 6-0 Orioles: There hasn’t been a ton of positives from the Sox today, but Burke Badenhop has gotten the job done.

After walking Davis, Badenhop struck out Jones and then induced a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning.

Badenhop has pitched 2.2 scoreless innings to at least give the Sox a chance at chipping away at this lead and starting a comeback effort.

End 4th, 6-0 Orioles: A leadoff walk to Pedroia and a single by Ortiz in the next at-bat, and the Red Sox had something cooking.

A Napoli strikeout and a Gomes line drive to shortstop, and the pot was off the stove.

Gomes made solid contact, but unfortunately for him, it was right at Flaherty. He made the catch and jogged to second base to double up Pedroia, and just like that, the rally was dead.

Middle 4th, 6-0 Orioles: Badenhop got into a bit of a jam, allowing a Lombardozzi single and a Markakis walk, but Nelson Cruz grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

The Sox have Pedroia-Ortiz-Napoli due up in the bottom of the fourth, which would presumably be a good place to get the offense kick-started.

End 3rd, 6-0 Orioles: The Red Sox probably wanted to scrape a couple of runs across the plate in the bottom of the third to answer that six-run outburst. Instead, they went down 1-2-3. Ross struck out swinging, Bradley struck out looking, and Holt grounded out to first.

Middle 3rd, 6-0 Orioles: Badenhop gets the job done quickly, getting Flaherty to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

That closes the book on Buchholz: 2.1 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO.

Top 3rd, 1 out, 6-0 Orioles: Clay Buchholz barely made it to noon, as his day is done after just 2.1 IP. After the five straight hits, Adam Jones grounded slowly to short — too slow for a double play. Bogaerts threw to second for the force out, but the fourth run scored.

Then, Clevenger smoked a double to right field, and Schoop hit a wall-ball single to left, and out came Farrell with the hook for Buchholz.

Buchholz is still responsible for the runner on first, as Burke Badenhop comes in to try to put out this third-inning fire.

Buchholz’s ERA is currently at 7.71.

Top 3rd, 0 out, 3-0 Orioles: We are hitless and scoreless no more, as the Orioles are jumping all over Buchholz in the third inning.

The O’s have five straight hits — singles from Lobardozzi, Lough, Markakis, Cruz and Davis — have the Orioles with a 3-0 lead with nobody out in the third.

Juan Nieves took a stroll to the mound to talk to Buchholz, who needs a double play in a big way here as he’s up around 20 pitches already this inning.

End 2nd, 0-0: The bats certainly aren’t yet awake at Fenway Park, as we’re hitless through two innings.

Gomes (K), Bogaerts (P7) and Nava (K) went down quietly in the second, and this game heads to the third inning at a rather brisk pace. (Just a little marathon lingo for you right there, folks.)

Middle 2nd, 0-0: Clay Buchholz cruised right through the second inning, retiring the O’s in order and needing just eight pitches to do so. He induced three ground-outs in that frame, one to second, one to short, and one back to the mound.

End 1st, 0-0: The bottom of the first nearly mirrored the top of the inning, as David Ortiz walked on four pitches with two outs to bring up the cleanup hitter. In this case, Napoli grounded into a fielder’s choice, 6-4, ending the inning. Wei-Yin Chen needed 21 pitches to get through that one.

Also of note in the inning was Dustin Pedroia’s swing on a 2-1 count, which sent his bat slipping out of his hands and flying toward Schoop at third base. Schoop was, fortunately, able to sidestep the flying lumber, which traveled about 100 feet from the plate.

Middle 1st, 0-0: Clay Buchholz’s pitches have some serious movement early on, but he nearly got into a bit of two-out trouble. After walking Chris Davis on four pitches, Buchholz fell behind Jones 2-1. Jones sent a line drive to left field, which could have been trouble, but Jonny Gomes laid out to make a diving catch just shy of the warning track in front of the Green Monster to end the inning.

Top 1st, 0-0: Buchholz’s first pitch to Markakis is a ball high, and this Marathon morning game is underway at Fenway Park.

11:07 a.m.: The Sox have taken the field. First pitch coming right up.

10: 57 a.m.: It’s not long until first pitch. Here’s the Orioles lineup:

1. Nick Markakis, DH
2. Nelson Cruz, RF
3. Chris Davis, 1B
4. Adam Jones, CF
5. Steve Clevenger, C
6. Jonathan Schoop, 3B
7. Ryan Flaherty, SS
8. Steve Lombardozzi, 2B
9. David Lough, LF

10:30 a.m.: It is one of the finest days of the year at Fenway Park.

Marathon Monday is a city-wide celebration in Boston, and a major part of the day involves the annual morning Red Sox game. Though the attack at the finish line last year means everyone celebrates this year with a heavy heart, everything is still going in full force on this day.

And this year, the early game comes at a perfect time for the Sox, who are no doubt feeling good after their wild walk-off win last night. Though it wasn’t a pretty way to win, it sure was exciting, and they’ll probably all be buzzing when they take the field this morning.

The Sox are winners of two straight and four of their last five, and a win today would get the Sox to 10-10 on the young season and get them within a game of first place in the AL East.

It is, of course, far too early to be to concerned about standings, but the Sox would obviously prefer to be near the top rather than the bottom.

Here’s what the Sox lineup will look like today.

1. Brock Holt 3B
2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
3. David Ortiz DH
4. Mike Napoli 1B
5. Jonny Gomes LF
6. Xander Bogaerts SS
7. Daniel Nava RF
8. David Ross C
9. Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

Clay Buchholz, SP

That’s a good sign for Napoli, who took a fastball directly to the left kneecap in the ninth inning last night. I know I assumed he’d be out of the lineup today with some swelling and soreness, but Napoli is one tough dude.

The Sox will also be wearing their “BOSTON” home jerseys today:

Stick with the live blog throughout this game for updates and analysis as the Sox try to build their first three-game winning streak of the season.

Read more from Michael Hurley by clicking here, or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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