BOSTON - This time, there was no late-inning magic.
After yet another last at-bat victory on Wednesday night, the Red Sox couldn't pull off another dramatic comeback on Thursday, falling to the Baltimore Orioles, 3-2.
The Red Sox had the potential tying run on third in the bottom of the eighth, but Orioles reliever Brian Matusz fanned David Ortiz for the third out. Ortiz is hitless in his last 22 at-bats.
The loss went to Jon Lester, who lost for just the third time since the All-Star break. Lester allowed all three runs in his six
innings of work.
A leadoff homer by Shane Victorino -- his fifth in the past 11 games -- pulled the Red Sox to within a run in the sixth, but they got
no closer against starter Chris Tillman and the Baltimore bullpen.
The Orioles had surged ahead in the fifth, with the trouble starting after Lester had retired the first two hitters. But Lester issued a walk to Adam Jones and paid for it when Chris Davis swatted a double high off the left field wall.
Baltimore didn't collect a hit until the third off Lester, then had three in the span of five hitters.
Danny Valencia doubled to start things, though he was quickly erased when Brian Roberts' grounder to second resulted in Dustin Pedroia alertly throwing to third to cut down the lead runner.
After a walk to Nate McLouth, Manny Machado drilled a double to left. It was Machado's 45th double of the season and sixth against Red Sox piching.
The Sox had taken a 1-0 lead in the second when Daniel Nava doubled off The Wall, and two outs later, rode home on Stephen Drew's single to right. For Drew, it was his 21st RBI in his past 30 games.
STAR OF THE GAME: Chris Tillman
Tillman is usually tough against the Red Sox (2.15 ERA with five quality starts in nine career outings) and Thursday was no different. He went seven innings and allowed two runs without issuing walk and fanned eight.
HONORABLE MENTION: Manny Machado
Machado, 21, is one of the game's best young players and also seems to ramp it up vs. Boston. He had two hits, two walks and two RBI, with a two-run double giving the Orioles a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Machado has 45 doubles on the season.
GOAT OF THE GAME: David Ortiz
Ortiz had four at-bats and was hitless, ending innings in three of them. He stranded a runner on second in the first, a runner on first in the third and a runner on third in the eighth.
TURNING POINT: In the bottom of the eighth, the Sox had the potential tying run at third with David Ortiz at the plate and two out. But the O's went to Brian Matusz against the slumping Ortiz, who struck out, making him 1-for-18 lifetime against the Baltimore lefty.
BY THE NUMBERS: With three hits -- including two doubles -- Daniel Nava has now reached base in 35 straight starts, dating to June 22.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "I'm just missing pitches. When you're missing pitches, you have to stay aggressive and keep on battling. It happens to everybody.'' David Ortiz, who is hitless in his last 22 at-bats.