For the first time in the young 2013 season, the Red Sox lost a series, dropping two games to the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. After a strong performance in the Home Opener on Monday, despite cruising through 8 innings on Wednesday night, the Red Sox were not able to take a second game from Baltimore.
On Wednesday night the Red Sox had a 2-run lead in the top of the ninth inning. And then the new Red Sox closer, Joel Hanrahan, who pitched a rough inning in the home opener, came in to the game and allowed the Orioles 5 runs, and the game. Hanrahan and the Red Sox had the Orioles on the ropes, but they failed to throw a knockout punch.
On Thursday night Alfredo Aceves, starting in the place of John Lackey, pitched a decent game. Aceves gave up just two runs in 5 innings on 6 hits, and 3 walks. One of the runs allowed by Aceves was a solo home run to Chris Davis, the AL leader in RBI’s with 19 in just 9 games.
Clayton Mortenson relieved Aceves after 5 with the score tied at 2, and gave up a single in the 7th inning with 2 outs before being pulled for Andrew Miller. Miller was not able to get the final out of the inning as he walked Manny Machado, and then was replaced by Koji Uehara. Uehara gave up a double to Adam Jones which scored the Orioles third run of the game, and that was all they needed to beat the Red Sox.
Winning one-run games is nothing new to the Orioles, as the 2012 Orioles won 29 one-run games. Besides the minor hiccup in the 7th inning, and Hanrahan’s struggles, the Boston bullpen has been very efficient this season.
Next the Red Sox will continue their home stand with the Tampa Rays coming to town for four games. The Rays are taking a page out of the Houston Texans playbook, and on their trip from Texas to Boston, the team will all be wearing ugly letterman jackets. The Red Sox hope it works out for the Rays just as much as it did for the Texans who lost 42-14 in Foxboro on Monday Night Football.
The Rays will start Alex Cobb on Friday night against Felix Doubront. Cobb did not allow a run in his first start of the season and has been the best starter for the Rays so far this year. After Doubront goes on Friday night, the Rays will be challenged by facing the Red Sox two ace’s, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz on Saturday and Sunday respectively. The series will conclude on Patriots day morning, a game which starts at 11:05 am.