I missed the first 6.5 innings of this game, but it turns out that it didn't matter because all of the excitement happened after that. I turned on the game just in time to hear Fred Manfra say the the Red Sox had tied the game in the top of the 7th. Here's a run down of what I missed:
David Hernandez made the start for the Orioles and while he only allowed three hits and two runs, he walked five batters and gave up two home runs (one to J.D. Drew, one to Dustin Pedroia) and only lasted 5.1 innings. Hernandez was relieved by Will Ohman, who pitched 0.2 innings scoreless, Jason Berken, who got two outs to start the 7th but left the bases loaded for Jim Johnson. Johnson allowed one of Berken's runners to score with a single before getting the final out.
On the offensive side, the O's scored two runs in the first on an RBI single by Matt Wieters to score Adam Jones and a sacrifice fly by Miguel Tejada that brought in Nick Markakis. Their third run scored in the fourth inning when Adrian Beltre botched a play off the bat of Ty Wigginton that brought Miguel Tejada in from second base.
Ok, so we're all caught up? Let's jump at the bottom of the 7th.
Garrett Atkins led off the inning, already the goat of the game for grounding into a 1-2-3 double play with zero outs in the 4th inning. He didn't help himself any as he flew out to center. Cesar Izturis grounded out, bringing Adam Jones to the plate. Adam already had one hit on the game and added another with a single up the middle. Nick Markakis followed Jones, who represented the go ahead run at first. Markakis has been hot lately but he never got a chance to do anything as Jones was picked off of first. Well done, Adam. Well done.
With another opportunity wasted, Jim Johnson came back out in the top of the 8th and...wasn't successful. He retired Kevin Youkilis to start things off but then allowed JD Drew to jack a ball to the bleachers, putting the Red Sox on top 4-3. He got the clueless David Ortiz on a ground out but then lost all control, giving up a single to Beltre and walking Jeremy Hermida and Darnell McDonald on 8 pitches. After that, Johnson was mercifully removed from the game for Cla Meredith who induced a ground ball to second base by Marco Scutaro to end the inning.
Raise your hand if you thought that was it and the Orioles were going to lose 4-3. Yes, there are quite a few of you out there. Well, Miguel Tejada says screw you. He launched a home run to left field to tie the game at 4 in the bottom of the 8th. It was a heck of a home run, too, as it went to the back rows of the left field box seats.
Your new closer, Alfredo Simon, came in to pitch the 9th inning and immediately made it interesting. A lead off walk, a ground ball fielder's choice, and another walk put runners on first and second with one out. Simon didn't give in, though, and he struck out the dangerous JD Drew and the completely non-dangerous David Ortiz to end the inning. The bottom of the 9th was uneventful, and the Orioles went 1-2-3.
Going into extra innings, raise your hand if you thought there was no way the Orioles would be able to win in extra innings, not with Matt Albers coming in to pitch. Oh yeah? Matt Albers also says screw you as he pitched a perfect 1-2-3 10th inning. Matt's last word before being demoted and possibly claimed on waivers? We'll see.
Heading to the bottom of the 10th inning, and this is where things got good. Izzy led off with a fly ball to center. Adam Jones stepped to the plate, already having two hits on the day, and hit a liner down the right field line. It looked like it might possibly go foul and Adam didn't get out of the box right away. He still got to second with a double, but it was frustrating for sure. But as I said, he ended up on second, so we'll put that on the back burner for now. With the winning run on 2nd base and first base open, the Red Sox opted to intentionally walk Nick Markakis. Their plan appeared to work at first as Matt Wieters, despite a very patient at bat, struck out. With two outs, Tejada was up having already played the hero once tonight. He proved he was up to the task again with a single to center field. Jones scored from 2nd base and the celebrating ensued. That's my favorite part. The jumping up and down.
O's win 5-4 in an exciting fashion, getting their 5th win on the season and matching their 2009 season win total against the Red Sox with 2. We'll see you tomorrow for another one.