BOSTON -- They spotted the Baltimore Orioles a big lead in the early going. They didn't collect their first hit until the fourth inning.
Unlike Sunday night, however, the Red Sox couldn't quite finish off their comeback bid Monday afternoon. They came back from a 6-0 deficit and had the winning runs in scoring position with two outs in the ninth, but fell just short in a 7-6 loss on Patriots Day.
Trailing 7-5 with one out in the ninth, an infield single from Brock Holt and a double off the wall by Dustin Pedroia put the potential tying runs in scoring position and brought David Ortiz to the plate as the winning run. The Orioles elected to walk Ortiz, loading the bases.
The strategy worked. A groundout by Mike Napoli forced in a run, making it 7-6 and putting runners on second and third. Then Tommy Hunter got Mike Carp to roll out to first, ending the game.
Trailing by three, 7-4, in the bottom of the eighth, Napoli crushed a solo homer to left-center to lead off the inning. Base hits by Xander Bogaerts and Daniel Nava brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the person of pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera, batting for David Ross. But Brian Matusz fanned Herrera with the runners in motion and Bogaerts inexplicably broke late from second base and got hung up between second and third. He was tagged out in a rundown, ending the inning.
The Orioles had bashed starter Clay Buchholz for seven hits and six runs in the third inning before the Red Sox began to answer in kind.
It marked the second time in two starts that Buchholz couldn't get through the fifth inning. In his first home start of the season, he was cuffed around for six runs in 4 1/3 innings against Milwaukee.
In the fifth, a run-scoring double from Jackie Bradley Jr., a sacrifice fly from Holt and an RBI double from Pedroia cut the visitor's lead in half.
The Sox chipped away with a solo homer from Ross before the O's nicked Craig Breslow for a run in the eighth.
AT A GLANCE
STAR OF THE GAME: Orioles lineup
A balanced Baltimore attack saw the first seven hitters in the batting order each collect one hit and one RBI apiece. Every O's starter had at least one hit, with second baseman Steve Lombardozzi getting two.
HONORABLE MENTION: Brian Matusz
The lefty reliever struck out pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera with two on and one out in the eighth in a play that turned into a double play when Xavier Bogaerts was trapped off second on a busted steal, preserving the Orioles' two-run lead.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Clay Buchholz
After cruising through the first two innings with no hits allowed, Buchholz was rocked for five straight hits out of the gate in the third. He retired just one of the eight hitters he faced that inning, allowing the O's to take a 6-0 lead.
TURNING POINT: In the bottom of the eighth, the Red Sox put the runners in motion with Herrera at the plate. But as Herrera struck out, Bogaerts either initially missed the sign or got off to a horrible jump since he was caught in a rundown between second and third for the third out, taking the Sox out of the inning.
BY THE NUMBERS: In two starts at Fenway this season, Clay Buchholz has allowed 20 hits and 12 runs in 6 2/3 innings.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "It's a tough one. I felt pretty bad right there. Shouldn't give up an out right there.'' -- Bogaerts on his baserunning blunder.