Red Sox make it 2 in a row over O's, 4-3

Red Sox make it 2 in a row over O's, 4-3
April 3, 2014, 10:15 pm
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BALTIMORE -- With the help of a makeshift lineup, the Red Sox raced out to a 3-0 lead after 3 1/2 innings Thursday night, then hung on to hold off the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 to take their first series of the season.

The Sox knocked out 14 hits -- including three from both Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz and two each from Jackie Bradley Jr. and Will Middlebrooks -- though all but two were singles.

Bradley's single to center scored Middlebrooks (double) in the top of the sixth for what stood up as the winning run. Bradley also scored all the way from first on a single in the third when Ortiz dumped a blooper in front of Baltimore left fielder Nelson Cruz.

Felix Doubront hit a speed bump when he gave up two runs in the fourth inning, and when he battled through an 11-pitch at-bat with Adam Jones -- including a long foul ball that just missed being a two-run homer, John Farrell had seen enough even though the Boston starter had thrown just 76 pitches.

Four Red Sox relievers chipped in to record the final 11 outs, capped by Koji Uejara, who celebrated his 39th birthday by recording his first save of the season, needing just seven pitches.

In the three-game series, Boston relievers combined to pitch 7 2/3 innings without allowing a run.

STAR OF THE GAME: Xander Bogaerts
The rookie shortstop enjoyed his first three-hit game in the major leagues, singling three times and scoring two runs. In the three-game series, he reached base eight times.

Getting his first start of the young season, Bradley had two hits, a run scored and an RBI. In the third, after leading off with a single, he managed to score all the way from first on a bloop single to left by David Ortiz.

After homering in each of the first two games of the series, Cruz was 0-for-4 and stranded three runners. He wasn't any better in the field, misplaying Ortiz's bloop single in the third, enabling Bradley to score all the way from first base.

TURNING POINT: The Orioles had pulled to within a run in the sixth, thanks to a wild pitch from Brandon Workman. In the bottom of the seventh, with the Orioles looking to build on some momentum, Chris Capuano made his Red Sox debut and retired the side on 11 pitches. The O's never threatened again.

BY THE NUMBERS: In the last 100 years, Bogaerts is the second-youngest Red Sox player to reach base safely twice in each of the first three game of a season. Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr did it at 19 in 1937.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "Now I want presents." --Birthday boy Koji Uehara, revealing that teammates sang Happy Birthday to him in the pregame stretch.