Orioles drop Red Sox in series opener, 8-4

Orioles drop Red Sox in series opener, 8-4
April 18, 2014, 10:45 pm
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BOSTON -- The Red Sox had trouble retiring hitters they should have handled and paid for it. The bottom four hitters of the Orioles order combined to get on base 10 times and knock in four runs, and Baltimore won its series-opener with the Sox, 8-4.

Orioles No. 9 hitter and third baseman Jonathan Schoop helped lead the offensive charge by going 4-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored.

Baltimore did most of its damage against John Lackey, who had his second rocky start in as many outings. After allowing six runs in a loss to the Yankees, he gave up another half-dozen to Baltimore. He struck out six on the night, but allowed 10 hits and four walks in 5.1 innings.

Lackey never seemed to get into a rhythm, though it wasn't necessarily by his own doing in the top of the first.

Nick Markakis doubled down the left-field line on the first pitch of the game, but it was close enough to foul ground that Red Sox manager John Farrell decided that that it was worth a challenge.

After a two-minute, 56-second delay the call was upheld. Three batters later, a Orioles center fielder Adam Jones knocked an RBI single up the middle to give Baltimore a 1-0 lead.

With a 1-2-3 second inning under his belt, Lackey's real trouble began in the third. He allowed a leadoff single on a slider to Baltimore's No. 9 hitter Janathan Schoop. Markakis' second double of the game brought Schoop around from first to go up 2-0. After a Chris Davis walk, Nelson Cruz hit a two-run single to make the score 4-0.

Lackey got five outs in the next six hitters, but with two outs in the fifth inning, Matt Wieters hit an RBI single that got under the glove of first baseman Mike Carp. JJ Hardy followed that up with an RBI single of his own to make the score 6-1.

Friday's call-up Brock Holt was one of Boston's best players in the loss. He got the Red Sox on the board in the fourth inning when his 10-pitch at-bat resulted in a two-out RBI single up the middle scored Carp, who led off the inning with a double. Holt finished the night with two hits and one diving putout in the eighth inning.

Daniel Nava led off the fifth inning with a double off Baltimore starter Chris Tillman. That was followed up by an RBI single from Dustin Pedroia. AJ Pierzynski gave the Sox their third run of the night when his flare single scored with two outs scored Pedroia from second.

Xander Bogaerts knocked in his third run of the season when he singled home Mike Napoli after Napoli started the inning with a wall-ball double. Bogaerts attempted to stretch his hit off the wall into a double but was thrown out at second.


STAR OF THE GAME: Jonathan Schoop
The Orioles third baseman hit ninth in the order on Friday night, but he gave the Red Sox fits. He finished with a team-high four hits (4-for-5) and two RBI.

With two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI in the first three innings, the Baltimore leadoff man found a way to give his team's offense a jolt from the very first pitch of the game.

That's now two consecutive less-than-stellar starts for the big righty. Relying on his offspeed pitches Friday, perhaps his fastball will become a go-to pitch again when the weather warms. It was 39 degrees at the start of Friday's game.

The Red Sox got on the board for the first time in the fourth inning. The score was 4-1 but they seemed to be getting to Tillman, whose pitch count was rising fast. In the top of the fifth, however, the Orioles put up two more runs on a back-to-back RBI singles from Matt Wieters (a bouncing ball that should have been at least knocked down by Mike Carp) and JJ Hardy. That made the score 6-1 and gave the O's all the momentum.

Red Sox pitchers couldn't keep Baltimore from getting the clutch hit in a handful of innings. Of the eight runs they scored, four came with two outs.

"We got one, but it was too late tonight." -- Farrell on the call that was reviewed and reversed in favor of the Red Sox in the eighth inning. (Brock Holt was called safe at first after originally being called out.) It came after Farrell failed on his fourth replay challenge of the season in the first inning.