O's outlast Sox in extras 9-6

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O's outlast Sox in extras 9-6

BOSTON The Red Sox futility continued Saturday afternoon for their season, their attempts against the Orioles, and in extra-innings at home as they lost, 9-6, in 12 innings at Fenway Park.

The Sox fell to 4-10 against the Os this season, 1-7 at home, as they fell to 2-9 in extra innings, 0-7 in extra innings at Fenway. They also fell to 0-4 in extra innings against the Os, all at Fenway.

The Orioles, meanwhile, won 16 straight extra-inning games, the most since the 1949 Indians won 17 straight, and are 11-0 on the road.

With the loss, the Sox are assured of losing the season series against Baltimore for the first time since they went 9-10 in 2004. They fell to 17 games under .500, at 68-85.

Neither starter was involved in the decision. Aaron Cook went 5 13 innings, giving up five runs on nine hits and two walks with one strikeout, while his ERA rose from 4.93 to 5.13.

Os left-hander Randy Wolf, who signed with the Os on Aug. 31 after being released by the Brewers and was making his second start for the Orioles. He went five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts.

The Orioles got on the board first when Cook opened the game with a walk to Nate McLouth, who stole second, went to third on J.J. Hardys groundout and scored on Adam Jones groundout.

But the Sox tied the game in the bottom of the first when Dustin Pedroia, who doubled to right, scored on Ryan Lavarnways single to right.

The Os got a run in the second when Chris Davis hit a one-out single to left and took second on Cooks errant pick-off attempt, and scored on Manny Machados single to center.

Mark Reynolds led off the fourth with home run, giving the Os a 3-1 lead. It was Reynolds 22nd homer of the season, and sixth in 11 games against the Sox.

The Sox tied the game in fourth on Danny Valencias first home run with the Red Sox, scoring Mike Aviles who singled.

With one out in the sixth, Davis singled and Machado doubled, knocking Cook from the game. Ryan Flaherty greeted Rich Hill with a first-pitch triple, putting the Os ahead, 5-3.

Jones' 31st home run of the season, leading off the seventh, extended the Os lead to three runs.

The Sox came back with two in the bottom of the inning. Scott Podsednik led off with a double off right-hander Jake Arietta, who entered in the sixth, followed by a walk to Ciriaco and single by Pedroia to load the bases. Cody Ross grounded into a fielders choice, scoring Podsednik. And Ryan Lavarnway followed with a fielders choice to score Ciriaco, cutting the Sox deficit to one run, 6-5.

The Sox tied the game in the eighth off Pedro Strop on back-to-back, two-out doubles by Nava and Podsednik. Strop entered the game with an ERA of 7.36 in his last games, spanning 11 innings.

Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Bailey, and Mark Melancon each pitched one perfect inning, from the eighth through the 11th.

But, Alfredo Aceves, who has been virtually toxic lately, came in for the 12th. In two-third of an inning, he gave up three runs. He opened the inning by giving up a double to Jones followed by a one-out, ground-rule double to Jim Thome, giving the Os the lead. With two outs, he gave up an RBI single to Endy Chavez, ending Aceves outing. Chris Carpenter entered, giving up a single to Machado, scoring Chavez, giving the Os the 9-6 lead.

Aceves took the loss, falling to 2-10 with a 5.31 ERA.

After ‘tough month,’ Farrell understands speculation on his job status

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After ‘tough month,’ Farrell understands speculation on his job status

BOSTON - With the Red Sox reeling coming off a month in which they went 10-16 and dropped a handful of games in the standings, speculation has recently focused on John Farrell's job security.

Dave Dombrowski, the Red Sox' president of baseball operations, told reporters Thursday that Farrell's job status was not a focus and that the entire organization had to perform better. Dombrowski added that it's seldom that one person is responsible for a downturn in play.

"We've come off a tough month and finished a disappointing trip through Texas and Tampa,'' acknowledged Farrell when asked about the chatter regarding his job status. "I can understand the question and the potential speculation that's out there. But our expectation is to win and that doesn't change. The focus daily is that, is to go out and put together an effort to win.      

"My communication with Dave is very consistent. I think he's confident in my focus  and that's to win each and every day. That's where we stand. We're looking forward to  the opportunity to start this final homestand before the [All Star] break, so that gets underway tonight.''

Farrell was also asked about the dichotmy that existed between his own evaluation of David Price's outing Wednesday and Price's own estimation. 

Farrell said post-game that he believed Price "probably had his best stuff of the season, in terms of velocity and in terms of the shape of his secondary pitches.''

Price, who was in full self-flagellation mode, offered a slightly contradictory assessment.

"Changeup, that's probably the worst changeup I've had in a month,'' he said. "Curveball was awful. Can't get my cutter or my slider where I want to. I'm just bad right now.''

Farrell was questioned Friday about the seemingly contradictory analysis.

"The commentary was, here was a guy coming off an outing where he had best velocity he's shown all year -- up to 97 mph,'' said Farrell, "strikes out 10 over six-plus innings. He made some mistakes in the middle of the middle of the plate. But in terms of just raw stuff, I thought he showed a curveball that had much more consistent depth to it than in more recent starts.

So in terms of raw stuff, I thought it was one of his better outings of the year. The execution?

No, that wasn't as good as the game against San Francisco or the game against Seattle.

"Whether that's a differing opinion from someone else? That was just my view of the raw stuff.''

Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter: @Sean_McAdam

O’Sullivan will return to make start for Red Sox on Sunday

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O’Sullivan will return to make start for Red Sox on Sunday

BOSTON - Sean O'Sullivan -- and not Aaron Wilkerson -- is the Red Sox choice for Sunday's plug-in starter as the Sox search for a temporary replacement for Eduardo Rodriguez's spot in their starting rotation.
      
"That was the recommendation,'' said John Farrell of the choice to go with  O'Sullivan. "Granted, Wilkerson's been throwing the ball well there. But the recommendation was for Sean to come back here and pitch on Sunday.''
      
O'Sullivan made two starts earlier this season, allowing four runs in six innings to the New York Yankees on May 10 before being battered for six runs (five earned) in 4 1/3 innings against Houston five days later.
      
Overall, O'Sullivan is 6-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 11 starts for the Pawsox this season.
      
Wilkerson, who was pitching in independent ball just two years ago, is 4-1 with a 2.20 ERA in eight appearances -- seven starts -- at Pawtucket.
      
O'Sullivan's stay with the Red Sox is expcted to be brief, since the Red Sox can through next week and first 10 days of the second half without a fifth starter.
      
"It's likely that spot will come up just once,'' confirmed Farrell. "With next Thursday's off-day, we've got a chance to make sure that [Rick] Porcello and [David] Price get on the mound before the break and that's the direction we're leaining in right now.''

Holt 'definitely happy' to be back with Red Sox

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Holt 'definitely happy' to be back with Red Sox

BOSTON -- After an absence of more than a month, Brock Holt was back in the Red Sox lineup Friday night, playing left field and batting sixth. Holt had been sidelined with a concussion he suffered in early May in a game against Oakland.

"It's good to see Brock back in the lineup,'' said John Farrell. "It will certainly allow for not only a left-handed bat in left field but also the ability to somewhat deepen our bench.''

"I feel good,' said Holt. "I've been working to get back here. Obviously, it took a lot longer than I had hoped, but I'm definitely happy to be back.''

This was the second concussion suffered by Holt, who also incurred one in September 2014. Holt was originally placed on the seven-day concussion DL on May 20 before later being transferred to the 15-day DL.

While on a rehab assignment in Pawtucket, Holt was still experiencing some slight post-concussion symptoms, but he and the club believe he's ready to return.

"There's still a little bit more to improve on,'' said Holt. "But I'm definitely feeling a lot better. In my rehab games down there, I was able to put together good at-bats and hit some balls hard, so that definitely gave me some confidence to take the next step.''

Holt said he occasionally feels "a little light-headedness. Sometimes it comes and goes; sometimes I don't feel it all. It's definitely a lot better than where it was and I feel confident in taking the next step and to come up here and contribute.''

Holt has been told the remaining symptoms will eventually dissipate.

"Then I'll be normal,'' he said. "It's just part of the process. Getting into rehab games was a big step. Now, getting back here is the next step. As long as I just keep doing what I'm doing, it should be normal.''

It's uncertain how regularly Holt can play, but the Red Sox will ease him back into an everyday routine.

"He'll be checked on daily,'' said Farrell, "The progression that he's come through, we know there's going to be diminshing symptoms as we go along. The plan right now is for him to play tonight and Sunday against two right-handers. Beyond that, we'll continue to monitor his availability and check on him every day.''