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Three nights after pulling out a 10-8 win in 14 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Boston Red Sox couldn’t recapture the extra inning magic against the Baltimore Orioles, losing 5-4.
Chris Davis delivered the walk-off win with a bloop single to left after Nick Markakis walked and Adam Jones singled, all with two outs. Alex Wilson got the loss after 2.2 strong innings, before being unable to get the final out in the 13th.
Wilson was the sixth Red Sox pitcher to take the mound Thursday night, prompting manager John Farrell and general manager Ben Cherington to call up highly touted prospect Rubby De La Rosa as reinforcement for the recently taxed bullpen. De La Rosa was the centerpiece the Red Sox got back in last August’s trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Wilson is the odd man out, making the return trek to Pawtucket for the second time this season despite strong performances out of the bullpen.
The Orioles jumped out to a 3-0 in the third inning behind former Red Sox Danny Valencia‘s home run and RBI singles by Manny Machado and Davis. Red Sox starter Felix Doubront wouldn’t last much longer, only pitching 4.2 innings while giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits. He struck out five against one base on balls.
The Red Sox climbed back within one run on back-to-back home runs by David Ortiz and Mike Carp in the fourth. Carp replaced Mike Napoli at first base after Napoli was forced to leave the game due to illness.
After the Orioles had increased their lead to 4-2 on an RBI single by catcher Matt Wieters, the Red Sox would tie it up with some small ball in the seventh. Struggling shortstop Stephen Drew lifted a sacrifice fly to make it 4-3, and Jacoby Ellsbury evened the score by beating out the relay throw to stay out of the double play on a slow roller to second. The Red Sox would only have one baserunner the rest of the way, with Ellsbury getting on base via a catcher’s interference call in the tenth inning. He was stranded at second after swiping his 29th bag of the season.
Despite his promise as a prospect, De La Rosa likely won’t make much of a splash in the big leagues, at least for now. He is still being treated cautiously two years after Tommy John surgery, only cracking the five inning mark in his most recent start at Pawtucket. Nonetheless, he boasts a sparkling 1.14 ERA with 31 strikeouts to 14 walks over his last eight starts. Red Sox fans will watch any appearances closely to see what they might have in the 24-year-old moving forward.
With De La Rosa in the fold now, the Red Sox will look to get back in the win column and extend their AL East lead over the second-place Orioles on Friday night. Ryan Dempster will pitch opposite the Orioles’ Chris Tillman. First pitch is at 7:05 PM.