Orioles miss their chance for a sweep


Boston catcher Ryan Lavarnway celebrates after the Orioles’ Ryan Flaherty gets caught looking to end the game. (Jim Rogash/GETTY IMAGES)
September 23, 2012

During their season-high six-game winning streak, the Baltimore Orioles seemed to get the big hit when they needed it.

But with an opportunity to sweep the Red Sox at Fenway Park for the second time this season, the Orioles fell one hit short.

The Orioles left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning for a 2-1 loss to the Red Sox in front of an announced sellout crowd of 37,310.

After Mark Reynolds looped a one-out single in the ninth off closer Andrew Bailey, pinch hitter Jim Thome one-hopped a ground-rule double into the right field stands.

Bailey intentionally walked Chris Davis to set up a force play, and rookie third baseman Manny Machado quickly hit a grounder to first, where Mauro Gomez threw home for the out at home.

Rookie Ryan Flaherty ended the game by looking at strike three.

The Red Sox salvaged the final game of the series with back-to-back doubles off Orioles reliever Luis Ayala in the eighth inning, the second of which was a ball that rattled off the Green Monster in left off the bat of Cody Ross to drive in the winning run. Dustin Pedroia led off the inning with a double to right field.

Red Sox starter Felix Doubront, who entered the game having lost five of his past six decisions, struck out a career-high 11 batters over seven innings, allowing just one run on four hits.

The Orioles had their best chance to break through against Doubront in the fifth. They opened the inning with three straight hits, the last one an RBI hit by Machado to tie the game at 1.

But the O’s stranded runners at the corners that inning. Robert Andino struck out looking, Nate McLouth struck out swinging and J.J. Hardy grounded out to first to end the inning.

Orioles starter Chris Tillman had his fourth quality start in his past five outings — the only other being Sept. 2, when he left the game after three innings with an elbow injury.

— Baltimore Sun

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