Play it Again -- Red Sox 5, Orioles 2

April 27, 2007|By STEPHEN WHYNO

Gamble backfires

With runners on second and third and one out in the eighth inning, the Orioles opted to walk Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek and pitch to center fielder Wily Mo Pena. Pena proceeded to rip Chris Ray's pitch 430 feet into the stands in left-center to turn a one-run deficit into a 5-2 Red Sox lead. Pena's grand slam was devastating, as Orioles pitchers allowed only five hits until Pena's shot broke the game open.

Missed opportunities

While the Orioles were able to score two runs over the first three innings, their bats often froze in clutch situations. Melvin Mora's RBI double in the third was the Orioles' only hit with runners in scoring position. The Orioles went 1-for-14 with an RBI groundout and a sacrifice bunt with runners in scoring position. They left only seven runners on base, but five were in scoring position with two outs.

Pitching contrast

Orioles pitchers combined to allow only six hits, but also combined for eight walks. Starter Adam Loewen walked five batters, but only surrendered one run, while a leadoff walk by reliever John Parrish ended up turning into a Red Sox run. On the other side, Boston's Josh Beckett allowed eight hits but held onto the win, as he limited the Orioles to just two runs and did not walk any batters.

On deck

Veteran Steve Trachsel gets the call for the Orioles as they begin a six-game road trip at Jacobs Field in Cleveland. Trachsel (1-1, 4.37 ERA) has allowed only one earned run in two of his past three starts. Jake Westbrook, who got a three-year extension from the Indians two weeks ago, will look to improve his 0-2 record and 9.15 ERA when he takes the mound against Trachsel tonight.

STEPHEN WHYNO

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