Play it again -- Red Sox 6, Orioles 5

May 14, 2007|By JEFF ZREBIEC

Total meltdown

The Orioles took a five-run lead into the ninth inning and did everything possible to lose the game. Ramon Hernandez dropped a routine foul ball that would have been the second out. That prompted manager Sam Perlozzo to pull Jeremy Guthrie, who had thrown 8 1/3 dominant innings. Danys Baez and Chris Ray came in and got just one out against the Red Sox, while watching Boston score six runs. The final two scored when Ray dropped Kevin Millar's throw at first on Julio Lugo's bases-loaded ground ball.

Costly decision

Perlozzo will take some heat in the coming days for removing Guthrie when he was two outs shy of a complete game and showing no signs of fatigue. Perlozzo and Guthrie spoke before the inning and agreed that if someone reached, the manager would call the bullpen. That Coco Crisp reached on a dropped infield pop-up by Hernandez didn't change Perlozzo's mind. In the best performance of his career, Guthrie allowed one run (it was unearned), three hits and two walks, but was denied the win.

Unlucky No. 8

Josh Beckett was seeking to become the fourth pitcher in Red Sox history to start the season by winning his first eight starts. But the Orioles got to him in the first inning as Brian Roberts stole third and then scored on Jason Varitek's throwing error and Aubrey Huff scored a second run with a single. Beckett struck out seven in four innings, but he didn't come out for the fifth because of irritation on his right middle finger. He got a no-decision.

On deck

The Orioles will start a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays tonight as Erik Bedard (3-2, 4.79 ERA) takes the mound against Tomo Ohka (2-4, 5.53). Bedard is 2-4 with a 5.14 ERA in 10 career starts against Toronto. Ohka, a Japanese right-hander, is 2-1 with a 1.65 ERA in three career appearances against the Orioles.

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