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Red Sox 8, Orioles 6: O's finish the first half on a losing streak

The Orioles stumbled to the All-Star break with a seven-game losing streak on a 1-9 road trip. Since taking two of three from the Reds on 24-26 June, they have gone 1-12 and have been outscored 95-42. They are in shambles, and let's face it, the break isn't going to do anything about that. It will only serve to give us a break from the ridiculousness. 

The Orioles actually got some hits today, going after rookie Scott Kyle Weiland for six runs in the first two innings. The trouble with that, of course, is that Mitch Atkins was pitching against the Red Sox. They knocked him around for six runs in 1.2 innings, at which time he was replaced with Jeremy Guthrie, making his second relief appearance on the year. 

Guthrie pitched 3.1 innings and gave up one run. For his troubles he was given the loss, making him the losingest pitcher in the majors. Poor Guthrie. 

The bad blood from Friday's game (and John Lackey's blatant purposeful beanings of Derrek Lee and Nick Markakis on Saturday) was still a factor today, with a little help from the umpires. Weiland hit Mark Reynolds in the hand in the third inning. It was completely unintentional with Weiland pitching inside and Reynolds checking his swing (although shouldn't he be thrown out for pitching inside in the first place? That's what I learned from the Red Sox this weekend). Unfortunately Reynolds had to come out of the game; hopefully it won't keep him out of the lineup after the break. 

Then, in the fourth inning, with one out and two runners on in a tie game, Guthrie threw a changeup to Kevin Youkilis. It got away from Guts and sailed inside, hitting Youkilis on the body armor covering his elbow. Home plate umpire Marty Foster decided that Guthrie was obviously throwing intentionally and warned both dugouts. Because when you're purposely throwing at someone to get back at them, you do it in a tie game with two runners on and one out. Oh, and you throw an 84 mph changeup. 

With the bases loaded, Guthrie battled against Ortiz for eight pitches that ultimately resulted in a bases loaded walk to give the Red Sox a 7-6 lead. Geez Jeremy, guess you shouldn't have gone after Youkilis in retaliation! 

Weiland came back in the top of the fifth inning and hit Vladimir Guerrero. It wasn't on purpose. The kid was making his major league debut! But since the benches had been warned, both Weiland and Terry Francona were ejected. Vlad also had to come out of the game after being hit in the hand. 

Meanwhile, the Orioles were still losing. Because that's what they do. Mike Gonzalez came into the game in the sixth inning and threw behind David Ortiz. Whether he was trying to throw at him or behind him, it was pretty clear it was intentional, unlike all of the HBP on the day. Gonzo and Buck were both tossed for that act, prompting Jim Hunter to say, "This is all David Ortiz's fault." The reason being, of course, because on Friday Ortiz was a giant baby. 

If there were going to be a Most Birdland Player on the day, it would be Jim Hunter. He railed against the Red Sox and the umpires for pretty much the entire game, and was very outspoken about the preferential treatment the Red Sox pitchers were getting in the strike zone as the game came to a close. An honorable mention for MBP goes out to the MASN graphics staff, who put up a graphic after Guthrie hit Youkilis that said, "First Red Sox player hit by O's pitcher." Then later, when the game returned from commercial after Weiland's ejection, we saw a graphic showing that the Red Sox have hit 52 batters with pitches this season, tops in the American League and twelve more than the second team on the list. So for all the whining and crying the Red Sox did about Ortiz getting pitched inside, only one Red Sox actually got hit by an Oriole pitcher in this series (and in fact the whole season), while the Red Sox hit four Orioles in the series and in fact seem to love throwing at other team's batters. 

At any rate, the O's lose again. Enjoy the All-Star break and the Orioles will return on Thursday at home against the Indians