Bailey, Tazawa hold it down for Red Sox

Bailey, Tazawa hold it down for Red Sox
September 23, 2012, 11:25 pm
Share This Post

BOSTON -- Not that putting runners on base is a good thing, but for Andrew Bailey, right now, it's something he's willing to deal with.

The Red Sox aren't fighting for a playoff spot. And Bailey missed most of the season due to injury. So he's just trying to get his game in order for next season.

Sunday afternoon also gave him another chance -- as the Red Sox closer -- to bounce back from Thursday's loss and blown save in Tampa Bay.

And he did just that, getting out of a ninth-inning jam, and picking up his sixth save of the season in the process.

"Every day's a new day," said Bailey after Boston's 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioes at Fenway Park. "You've just got to go out there and get the job done. Today, I got in a little bit of a jam and fell behind hitters again. But this time, I made pitches when I needed to, and was able to get out of it."

In a 2-1 game, Mark Reynolds gave the Orioles some life in the ninth, as he dropped a one-out single into left field. Then, Jim Thome ripped a pinch-hit ground-rule double down the right-field line, putting runners at second and third with one out.

After intentionally-walking Chris Davis to load the bases, Bailey got a force out at home and then struck out Ryan Flaherty to shut the door.

"As much as you don't want to be in this situation, for me, it's about getting back into those situations and getting the job done, and looking forward to next year, and obviously finishing this year strong," said Bailey.

"You get a lot out of it. I missed a lot of the year, and you can't replicate this type of situations. So, for me, it's nice to get back in those situations. As much as you don't want to put guys on base, when the time is right, next year, when we're in the playoff hunt, these couple save opportunities or couple high-stressful outings, might play a part, down the road."

Junichi Tazawa can't be overlooked in Boston's bullpen effort either. he was the bridge from Felix Doubront to Bailey, and pitched a perfect 1-2-3 eighth inning, lowering his ERA to 1.54 and earning his first win of the season.

In Tazawa's last 12 appearances, he's pitched 11 scoreless innings and has recorded 16 strikeouts and walked only one while allowing just three hits.

"He's been near-perfect," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine after the win. "He's been as good a pitcher as I've seen in this league. He's continuing to get better. His split-finger, now, is devastating, and thrown at 90-91 miles an hour. His control is impeccable.

"He's everything you want in a pitcher."