Sox run out of gas, lose to O's in 17 innings, 9-6

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Sox run out of gas, lose to O's in 17 innings, 9-6

BOSTON The Red Sox and Orioles used a combined 18 pitchers, including a position player each, in their series finale Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park.

It was Darnell McDonald who took the loss, giving up a three-run home run to Adam Jones in the 17th, as the Sox fell, 9-6.

The Sox needed nine pitchers, including McDonald, who entered the game as a pinch-runner for David Ortiz in the eighth inning, to get through 17 innings against the Orioles Sunday afternoon.

The loss drops the Sox to 11-16, 4-10 at home, and 1-5 on the homestand.

The Orioles' Chris Davis, who started the game as their DH, pitched two innings for the win. At the plate, Davis went 0-for-8 with five straight strikeouts to start the game.

It was another poor outing by Clay Buccholz that set up the bullpen game. Buchholz lasted just 3 23 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and four walks with four strikeouts.All the Orioles runs off him came on home runs, including two solo shots by J.J. Hardy, in the first and third, and a three-run shot Sox nemesis Robert Andino in the fourth. It was Buchholzs shortest outing since 3 23 innings on April 9, 2011, in a loss to the Yankees.

The Sox got a run in the fourth when Mike Aviles doubled and scored on Ryan Sweeneys single to right.

They tied the score in the next inning on Will Middlebrooks first career grand slam. It scored David Ortiz and Cody Ross, who singled, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who walked. Middlebrooks blast, over the Monster, came on the first pitch. It was also his first career home run.

The Os went ahead in the eighth, helped by two errors from Saltalamacchia. His error on Adam Jones foul extended the at-bat, allowing Jones to single. With Jones attempting to steal second, Saltalamacchias throwing error allowed him to go to second. Jones scored on Mark Reynolds double off the wall in center.

But Saltalamacchia got some redemption in the bottom of the inning, as the Sox once again tied the score. Ortiz led off with a double to center and was replaced by Darnell McDonald, who went to third on Cody Ross ground out to short. Saltalamacchias sacrifice fly to left scored McDonald.

The Orioles bullpen had gone 23 23 consecutive scoreless innings before that run.

Os starter Tommy Hunter lasted just 4 13 innings, giving up five runs on eight hits, including Middlebrooks grand slam, and a walk with two strikeouts.

Of his six outings, Buchholz has not thrown a quality start yet this season, and has given up five or more earned runs in each.Althoughhe was not involved in the decision, leaving his record at 3-1, his ERA jumped from 8.69 to 9.09.

MLB may make rule changes for '18 season

MLB may make rule changes for '18 season

PHOENIX - Major League Baseball intends to push forward with the process that could lead to possible rule changes involving the strike zone, installation of pitch clocks and limits on trips to the pitcher's mound. While baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope the ongoing process would lead to an agreement, he said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract.

Union head Tony Clark said last weekend he did not foresee players agreeing to proposed changes for 2017. Under baseball's collective bargaining agreement, management can alter playing rules only with agreement from the union - unless it gives one year notice. With the one year of notice, management can make changes on its own.

"Unfortunately it now appears that there really won't be any meaningful change for the 2017 season due to a lack of cooperation from the MLBPA," Manfred said Tuesday during a news conference. "I've tried to be clear that our game is fundamentally sound, that it does not need to be fixed as some people have suggested, and I think last season was the kind of demonstration of the potential of our league to captivate the nation and of the game's unique place in American culture."

Yet, he also added: "I believe it's a mistake to stick our head in the sand and ignore the fact that our game has changed and continues to change."

Manfred said while he prefers an agreement, "I'm also not willing to walk away." He said he will send a letter to the union in the coming days and plans to continue dialogue with Clark and others in hopes of reaching agreement.

Clark met with Cactus League teams last week, five at a time over Thursday, Friday and Saturday, before departing Monday for Florida to visit each Grapefruit League club - and proposed rules changes were a topic.

"I have great respect for the labor relations process, and I have a pretty good track record for getting things done with the MLBPA," Manfred said. "I have to admit, however, that I am disappointed that we could not even get the MLBPA to agree to modest rule changes like limits on trips to the mound that have little effect on the competitive character of the game."

Clark saw talks differently.

"Unless your definition of `cooperation' is blanket approval, I don't agree that we've failed to cooperate with the commissioner's office on these issues," he wrote in an email to The Associated Press. "Two years ago we negotiated pace of play protocols that had an immediate and positive impact. Last year we took a step backward in some ways, and this offseason we've been in regular contact with MLB and with our members to get a better handle on why that happened. I would be surprised if those discussions with MLB don't continue, notwithstanding today's comments about implementation. As I've said, fundamental changes to the game are going to be an uphill battle, but the lines of communication should remain open."

Clark added "my understanding is that MLB wants to continue with the replay changes (2-minute limit) and the no-pitch intentional walks and the pace of game warning/fine adjustments."

Manfred said he didn't want to share specifics of his priorities for alterations.

"There's a variety of changes that can be undertaken," Manfred said. "I'm committed to the idea that we have a set of proposals out there and we continue to discuss those proposals in private."

MLB has studied whether to restore the lower edge of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level - at the top of the kneecap. Management would like to install 20-second pitch clocks in an attempt to speed the pace of play - they have been used at Triple-A and Double-A for the past two seasons.

Players also have been against limiting mound meetings. The least controversial change appears to be allowing a team to call for an intentional walk without the pitcher having to throw pitches. In addition, MLB likely can alter some video review rules without the union's agreement- such as shortening the time a manager has to call for a review.

"Most of this stuff that they were talking about I don't think it would have been a major adjustment for us," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Manfred said starting runners on second base in extra innings sounds unlikely to be implemented in the majors. The change will be experimented with during the World Baseball Classic and perhaps at some short-season Class A leagues. Manfred said it was a special-purpose rule "beneficial in developmental leagues."

Manfred also said Tuesday that a renovated Wrigley Field would be a great choice to host an All-Star Game and Las Vegas could be a "viable market for us."

"I don't think that the presence of legalized gambling in Las Vegas should necessarily disqualify that market as a potential major league city," Manfred said.