Sacrifice fly by Nick Markakis gives Orioles 6-5 comeback win over Red Sox
Long before Roberts crossed the plate, Bedard and Matsuzaka dominated. Bedard took a two-hitter and a 1-0 lead into the eighth before Boston sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five runs.
“Certainly it looked like it was going to be 1-0 before it was 6-5,” Roberts said. “Those two guys are tough. They both pitched great tonight.”
Roberts started the ninth with a ground-rule double and moved to third on a bunt by Corey Patterson. Markakis followed with a soft fly to center fielder Coco Crisp, who couldn’t put enough on his throw for a play at the plate.
After Boston’s eighth inning, the Orioles weren’t too confident about their chances of rallying against the AL East-leaders.
“I wish I could lie and say we were positive and upbeat, but I don’t think we were,” Roberts said. “Everybody was down and probably a little frustrated.”
Matsuzaka allowed one run and four hits in seven innings. He struck out seven and now has 159, breaking the single-season record for Boston rookies set by Ken Brett (155 in 1970).
“We’re at a point in the season where we want to pick up every win we can, especially going late into the game with a lead like that,” Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. “So the fact that we weren’t able to hang on today was a big disappointment.”
His fine performance was ruined by a miserable showing by Gagne, who got only one out. Obtained before the trading deadline from Texas to fortify Boston’s relief corps, Gagne has pitched in four games, giving up six runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings.
“I’m not doing my job right now. The last four games have been horrible,” he said. “I’ve got to step it up and do my job and get people out. There’s no excuse. It’s the same, the adrenalin has been there, everything has been there. I’m just not making my pitches.”
“I don’t think we imagined scoring that many that quick,” Roberts said. “I think it’s a testament to the guys we have in this locker room. After losing three straight, we could have died.”
Then came the ninth.
It was the first major league loss for Okajima. Baltimore rookie Jim Hoey (1-0) got four outs to earn his initial big league win.
After moving within a strike of getting the third out and keeping the shutout intact in the eighth, it all came apart for Bedard.
The biggest hit was delivered by Wily Mo Pena, who came up with two on and two outs. After falling into an 0-2 hole, Pena tied the game with a single up the middle, his first hit in 12 at-bats this season with two outs and a runner in scoring position.
“Bedard pitched a (heck) of a game, but one pitch in the eighth made the difference,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.
That chased Bedard, and Julio Lugo followed with an RBI bunt single off Chad Bradford. Dustin Pedroia got an infield hit before David Ortiz ended an 0-for-11 skid with a two-run single off Jamie Walker. Manny Ramirez capped the surge with an RBI single.
Bedard, who has won nine straight decisions, struck out six to bring his major league-leading total to 199. He avoided the loss when Baltimore rallied.
Before the wacky eighth, the Orioles got the game’s lone run before many in the sellout crowd of 48,993 settled in for a pitching matchup that lived up to its potential. Patterson walked with one out in the first, stole second and scored on Miguel Tejada’s two-out single.
The Orioles recalled LHP Garrett Olson from Triple-A Norfolk and named him the starter Saturday. … Boston’s Eric Hinske was reinstated from the bereavement list before the game, but did not play. … Kevin Youkilis is 1-for-18 lifetime against Bedard and Mike Lowell is 1-for-14.