Bullpen enables Orioles to defeat Red Sox in 13 innings

The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- The Orioles' bullpen continued its strong performance with a 13-inning, 6-4 win over the Red Sox on Friday night at Fenway Park.

Five Baltimore relievers combined to hold the Red Sox scoreless over the last eight innings. The Baltimore bullpen has a combined ERA of 1.56, best in the majors.

"You can make a strong case (that the relievers feed off each other), and it would make a lot of sense," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "But I just think everybody knows when it's their turn.

"So far, we're going to be able to pass the load around, when it's their time to contribute. That bodes well for their health, the rest factor. But I thought (Troy) Patton was big tonight. I had him up two or three times, trying to keep the left-handers on the bench. And he got some right-handed hitters out in Fenway Park, which is tough for a left-hander."

In the 13th, with Franklin Morales pitching for Boston, Matt Wieters hit a one-out single to left, going to second on Wilson Betemit's walk. Chris Davis' single scored Wieters and Mark Reynolds' sacrifice fly scored Betemit.

Morales was charged with the loss. Troy Patton pitched two innings for the win, with Jim Johnson earned his eighth save.

"A lot of the guys are really feeding off each other and putting up zeroes and having good outings," said Patton (1-0, 3.75 ERA). "It helps (that) our starters have pitched pretty well for the most part, and guys have been fresh and doing their job."

Jon Lester, the Red Sox left-hander who has mastered the Orioles throughout his career, lasted just six innings after throwing 122 pitches in his previous start. Lester gave up three runs on five hits and three walks with two strikeouts.

Orioles lefty Wei-Yin Chen went five innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts.

Reynolds broke his 76-at-bat homerless streak leading off the third inning, launching a shot over Fenway Park's left-field wall to give the Orioles an early lead.

"I felt good tonight," said Reynolds, who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. "I got that first hit in that first at-bat, and I think I drew a walk and a double and a sac fly. I was feeling good. My other out, I had a hard line drive to the left fielder. So hopefully this will be the start of me putting some good swings on the ball and start contributing around here."

The Orioles entered the game with a .977 fielding percentage, worst in the American League. They demonstrated why early, with errors from three different fielders and a passed ball by catcher Ronny Paulino in the first two innings.

Cody Ross led off the bottom of the second with his first triple of the season and scored on the passed ball. The Sox took the lead in the third when Adrian Gonzalez led off with a single and Dustin Pedroia doubled. Gonzalez scored on David Ortiz's groundout, and Pedroia came in on Ross' sacrifice fly.

Baltimore tied the score in the fourth as Adam Jones walked, scoring on Matt Wieters' triple. It was Wieters' third career triple and first since 2010. Betemit's single to center scored Wieters.

The Sox took a 4-3 lead in the fifth when Will Middlebrooks doubled, went to second on Gonzalez's fly out, and scored on Pedroia's single to center.

"We just couldn't find a way to score a run there when we needed to," said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. "It's tough. They have a great team. They've got some real good arms coming out of (their bullpen). They did a real good job tonight."

NOTES: The Orioles placed outfielder Nolan Reimold on the 15-day disabled list with a herniated disk, retroactive to May 1. To replace him on the roster they called up catcher Luis Exposito from Triple-A Norfolk. ... The Orioles have invited Miguel Tejada for a tryout at their extended spring training complex in Sarasota. ... Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett, who is being skipped in his start Saturday because of lat soreness, said he expects to make his next start. ... Daisuke Matsuzaka, on a 30-day rehab assignment after Tommy John surgery in June, had his next scheduled start pushed back to Monday, with Triple-A Pawtucket, because of soreness on the left side of his neck. ... Adrian Gonzalez's single in the third snapped an 0-for-18 skid. ... Alfredo Aceves pitches 2 2/3 innings for the Red Sox. Facing 10 batters, he struck out six without allowing a run.
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