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Red Sox Lose Rubber Match in Late Innings, 3-2 to the Baltimore Orioles

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones congratulates closer Jim Johnson on recording his second consecutive save against the Red Sox for a 3-2 Orioles victory. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

The Boston Red Sox had a chance in the ninth inning to tie the game with one out and Stephen Drew on first after his first base hit with his new club, but Jim Johnson settled down for his fourth save by striking out Jonny Gomes and getting Jacoby Ellsbury to line out to the warning track in left field. The Baltimore Orioles ended up winning 3-2.

Alfredo Aceves started the game for the Sox and allowed two runs on six hits while walking three and striking out four in his five innings of work in the no-decision. For the Orioles, Chris Tillman did fairly well with 5 1/3 innings pitched and two runs allowed with five strikeouts. He also walked two and allowed six hits.

Manny Machado made it interesting in the first, but was too aggressive with one out in the inning and got thrown out trying to extend a double into a triple.

The Orioles took the 1-0 edge after a one-out homer from Chris Davis in the second inning that was crushed in the second inning. Davis tied Justin Upton and Michael Morse for the major-league lead with his sixth home run of the season.

The Sox answered with two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Drew led off the inning with a walk. After Jackie Bradley Jr. struck out, Shane Victorino singled to right to put runners on first and third with one out. Dustin Pedroia singled home Drew and Mike Napoli followed with a RBI single to left that scored Victorino from second. Will Middlebrooks grounded out to third to end the threat.

The Orioles rallied in the fifth off of Aceves after Nate McLouth grounded out to second to start the frame. Machado reached on a bunt single and was moved over to second when Buck Showalter sent him on a pitch that Nick Markakis grounded to third. Adam Jones then knocked him in with a ball hit up the middle. Aceves regrouped and got Davis to ground out to first.

The winner of this contest, Brian Matusz (1-0), came in to retire both Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Drew on strikeouts with runners on first and second in the sixth inning with the teams tied 2-2.

Clayton Mortenson (0-1) ended up with the loss due to an inherited runner scoring in the top of the seventh inning. After striking out Alexi Casilla and forcing McLouth to popout to short, Mortenson gave up a single to Machado, who went 3-for-4 in this contest. Andrew Miller came in and walked Markakis to put runners on first and second with two outs. Koji Uehara entered and Jones hit a double to left to score Machado from second. After intentionally walking Davis, Uehara was able to get Matt Wieters to fly out to left.

The Baltimore bullpen retired 11 of the final 13 batters the Red Sox brought to the plate.

With the win, the Orioles tied the Red Sox for the AL East lead with a 5-4 record.

The Red Sox need to bring the bats in the four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays that will start Saturday night at Fenway Park after Friday’s game was postponed due to rain. The Orioles head to New York to take on the Yankees.

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