By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
BALTIMORE -- Capping a night of incredible drama, the Red Sox blew a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, losing to the Baltimore Orioles, 4-3. Minutes later, the Rays' Evan Longoria hit a walk-off home run -- his second of the game -- in the bottom of the 12th inning to vault the Rays into the postseason, and seal the Red Sox' fate.
Robert Andino lashed a line single to left that Carl Crawford couldn't quite hold onto as Nolan Reimold's, who had smacked a game-tying double, scored from second.
Until Wednesday night, the Red Sox had been 77-0 in games in which they led after eight innings.
The Red Sox scored single runs in the third, fourth and fifth, with Dustin Pedroia knocking in two of the runs -- on an RBI-single in the third and another on a solo homer in the fifth.
Marco Scutaro, who doubled in the fourth and took third on a groundout, scored the other run on a balk from Alfredo Simon.
Jon Lester, pitching on three days' rest, limited the Orioles to two runs on four hits.
J.J. Hardy hit his 30th homer of the season, a two-run shot in the third, to account for the only Orioles' runs of the night.
Alfredo Aceves, Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon each contributed a scoreless inning of relief.
Scutaro should have scored an insurance run in the eighth, but he inexplicably broke back to second for an instant when Carl Crawford doubled to the left-center gap.
The split second reversal cost Scutaro when he was thrown out in close play at the plate.
The Sox had the bases loaded with one in the ninth but couldn't push across a run.
The game featured an 86 minute rain delay in the middle of the seventh inning, during which the Tampa Bay Rays erased a 7-0 deficit, tying the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and sending their game with the New York Yankees into extra innings, leaving the Sox uncertain of their fate -- until just after they had lost.