The O’s take on the Red Sox in the second game of this three-game series at Camden Yards. The O’s took the first game of the series last night as rookie Zach Britton pitched a gem, allowing just one run on five hits in six innings of work. Jeremy Guthrie (1-3, 3.12 ERA) takes the mound tonight against Josh Beckett (2-1, 1.93 ERA). Guthrie has pitched well so far this season, but has once again been the victim of poor run support. He pitched well in his last start against the Twins, going seven innings and allowing just two runs on seven hit with four strikeouts, but earned the loss. Let’s see if the O’s can provide him with a few runs tonight, which they’ll need if they want to beat Beckett and the Red Sox.
Oh, and the “not so” comment before the live blog just means that I had all intentions of doing a live blog, but the laptop I was using wouldn’t allow me to get on the Internet (needless to say, I will never use this laptop here again). So I had to improvise a bit, but the times are correct even though the streaming of the action wasn’t posted as early accurately as I had hoped.
Jacoby Ellsbury led the game off with a single and it sounded as if I was at Fenway Park not Camden Yards. It actually kind of makes me sick to hear how many Red Sox fans are here. And although I’ve come to expect this kind of thing, I still can’t get used to it. But hopefully as the O’s get better, the amount of visiting fans will diminish and the seats will be filled mostly with black and orange.
It seems as if Beckett finds any reason he can to take as long as he can before he throws a pitch. I’m not sure why, but it’s kind of annoying. There is no score yet at the end of one inning as Guthrie worked out of a jam with one out and Beckett nullified a Derrek Lee single with a Vlad fly out.
It looks as if the dark storm clouds are rolling in and the severe weather isn’t far behind. Hopefully we don’t get poured on, but it almost seems inevitable at this point. Some good news, on the other hand, is Guthrie just forced Carl Crawford to ground into a double play and end the inning.
I love when the camera shows fans on the big screen when they least expect it. It’s funny to see what they’re doing when they have no idea that about 20,000 people (depending on the night) are watching them. Whether it’s picking a nose, guzzling down a beer or taking a big ol’ bite out of a juicy hot dog, it’s entertaining.
Guthrie is dealing so far. He just struck out Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia to end the third inning and now has four strikeouts and no walks for the game. He has thrown 53 pitches, 40 of which have been strikes. I have a feeling this one is going to be a pitcher’s duel.
The Red Sox have hit an awful lot of balls to Luke Scott in left field, but luckily none of them have left the ballpark. Nick Markakis denied the Sox of the first run of the game when David Ortiz decided to test Markakis’ arm and score from second base on a Jed Lowrie hit to right. Not a good idea. Now let’s see if Markakis can make a play at the plate as he is set to lead off the bottom of the fourth.
Luuuuuuuuuuuke!!! Scott’s two-run homer over the scoreboard in right put the O’s ahead 2-0 in the fourth with two outs. The home run, which didn’t hit the ground until it landed on Eutaw St. 426 feet later, was Scott’s first Eutaw St. blast since Sept. 1, 2009 when he hit one off A.J. Burnett of the Yankees. He is now tied with Rafael Palmeiro for the most career Eutaw St. home runs in O’s history with five. To add insult to Red Sox injury, Scott decided to jog very gingerly to first base much to the dismay of Beckett, who stared down Scott the whole way and proceeded to wine and complain about it to the umpires. So Beckett had to really be upset when Adam Jones hit a homer off him on the next at-bat. It was the O’s first back-to-back shots since Ty Wigginton and Luke Scott did it against the Texas Rangers on August 21, 2010. The O’s now lead the Sox 3-0 after four and seem to have rattled Beckett a bit.
A sac fly by Brian Roberts in the fifth has given the O’s a 4-0 lead. Guthrie now heads back to the mound to try and preserve the lead and build on his solid performance up to this point.
Guthrie’s night is now over, but he turned in yet another strong outing going six innings while striking out six, walking one and allowing just seven hits and no runs. Just imagine if the O’s gave him four runs every time he took the mound. Jeremy Accardo is the new O’s pitcher.
Accardo make quick work of the Red Sox and only had to throw seven pitches to retire the side and get the O’s two innings away from taking the second game of this series. Accardo will most likely stay in for the eighth and Koji should come in to close it out if all goes well.
I must say, tonight was a great “Kiss Cam” night. You had the woman who refused to kiss her husband of probably 20-plus years on the lips. You had the older couple that gave us the proper, PG-rated smooch. You had the few young couples who went right to work without hesitation. Then you had the middle-aged couple who didn’t seem to mind going at it for a bit in front of thousands of people. These cameramen really know how to pick them.
Well all didn’t go well for Accardo as he allowed the first two batters of the inning to reach base. Clay Rapada was then brought in and gave up an RBI-single to Adrian Gonzalez to pull the Red Sox within three. Koji Uehara then gave up a three-run bomb to Kevin Youkilis to tie the game at four with no outs. The visiting fans are now starting to chant, “Let’s go Red Sox,” not to be outdone by the O’s fans trying to overtake them. I have to give it to the O’s fans, though, because even though they may be close to being outnumbered, they aren’t letting Sox fans control the tempo of this game. Koji got out of the eighth without further damage, but now the O’s have some work to do if they want to pull this one out. I’m curious to see how they respond.
After Markakis was tagged out trying to take home on what looked to be a wild pitch by Daniel Bard, Vlad delivered an RBI-single that scored Lee from third to give the O’s a 5-4 lead (it was officially called a fielder’s choice, not a wild pitch). Just the response I was looking for from the O’s. Kevin Gregg is now playing the closer role. I must admit, I’m a little scared.
Gregg proved me wrong, and I’m glad he did. The best part about the win, though, was shutting all those Red Sox fans up at least for another night. Great win, O’s.
This game had a little bit of everything, but the end result was indicative of the kind of team the O’s want to be this season. After being up 4-0, the O’s blew the lead late in the game, but bounced right back in the following half of the inning and took care of business. What a performance by the O’s in a game that saw its fair share of ups and downs.
Submitted by Steve Giles