Early hitting carries Orioles over Red Sox 7-6
Baltimore Orioles' Chris Davis follows through on a RBI single against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning of their 7-6 win in a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
A Boston Red Sox jersey with a Boston Strong patch is seen on Boston Red Sox's Mike Napoli before a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park in Boston, Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Boston Marathon bombing survivor Marc Fucarile hugs former Red Sox player Kevin Millar after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen delivers against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz delivers against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Baltimore Orioles' Adam Jones crosses the plate with a run, scoring on a double by Steve Clevenger during the third inning of a baseball game as Boston Red Sox catcher David Ross waits for the throw at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Boston Red Sox third baseman Brock Holt can't get to a foul ball off the bat of Baltimore Orioles' Nick Markakis during the third inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Boston Red Sox third baseman Brock Holt sits on the wall after he couldn't get to a foul ball off the bat of Baltimore Orioles' Nick Markakis during the third inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
BOSTON – The Baltimore Orioles nearly lost twice in 20 hours after taking big leads against the Boston Red Sox in both games.
Tommy Hunter made sure they didn’t.
The closer worked out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning, and Baltimore won, 7-6, yesterday after taking a six-run lead.
“It was just big for us, especially after last night’s loss, an emotional loss, and the late night, then turn it around and have an early day game,” Orioles first baseman Chris Davis said.
The traditional morning Patriots’ Day game began at 11:09 a.m., just 12 hours, 28 minutes after Boston won 6-5 in a game it trailed by five runs.
“Once you show up here, we have a job to do,” Baltimore’s Adam Jones said. “It doesn’t matter what time it is.”
Even if the game is tough to get through.
“I was talking to Jones about the seventh inning and he was gassed,” Orioles Manager Buck Showalter said, “absolutely gassed.”
A year after the Boston Marathon bombings, the Red Sox had plenty of chances to make a special day even more memorable.
They almost succeeded.
Boston scored one run in each of the last three innings but stranded runners in scoring position in all of them.
“Our guys battled and fought and did a good job of making a game of it and it came down to the last pitch,” catcher David Ross said. “We did a good job of representing Red Sox baseball today. We just want to win, obviously, for the fans and the whole situation.’”
Boston beat Tampa Bay, 3-2, in last year’s Patriots’ Day game. About 40 minutes after the final out, two bombs went off near the marathon finish line a little over a mile from Fenway Park, killing three spectators.
Yesterday’s game started about an hour before Meb Keflezighi crossed the finish line as the first American man to win the Marathon since Greg Meyer in 1983. A long, loud cheer went up when the result of the race was shown on the center field video screen.
Boston’s Mike Napoli called yesterday “a special day.”
“Of course, you want to go out there and win,” he said.
That seemed unlikely when Baltimore scored six runs off Clay Buchholz in the third inning.
“It never seems to be enough against these guys,” said Davis, who fielded Mike Carp’s grounder and stepped on first for the last out. “They claw and battle and continue to score runs and put pressure on us to score more runs.”
Boston loaded the bases with one out in the ninth on a single by Brock Holt, a double by Dustin Pedroia and an intentional walk to David Ortiz. One run scored on Napoli’s groundout to second before Hunter retired Carp.
Nothing special for Hunter.
“It’s another inning, another game,” he said. “I was actually pretty calm.”
Wei-Yin Chen (3-1) and five relievers pitched well enough for Baltimore to gain a split of the four-game series.
Baltimore started the third with consecutive singles by Steve Lombardozzi, David Lough, Nick Markakis, Nelson Cruz and Davis that produced three runs. Jones drove in another on a forceout at second base before a run-scoring double by Steve Clevenger and an RBI single by Jonathan Schoop made it 6-0 and knocked out Buchholz (0-2).
Buchholz had slept over at Fenway Park after Sunday night’s game and doesn’t regret the decision.
“I’d have had to wake up earlier than I did here to get here this morning,” he said, “so that had nothing to do with it.”
Boston cut the lead in half with three runs in the fifth on RBI doubles by Jackie Bradley Jr. and Pedroia and a sacrifice fly by Holt.
In the seventh, Boston made it 6-4 on Ross’s first homer and then had a chance to go ahead after Holt singled and Pedroia walked. But Ortiz hit an inning-ending groundout.
Ryan Flaherty’s RBI single in the eighth made it 7-4 before Napoli’s solo homer in the bottom half. Singles by Xander Bogaerts and Daniel Nava put runners at first and second with one out, but pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera struck out as the runners took off and Bogaerts was tagged between second and third.
∎ Davis singled and walked twice and tied his career-high by reaching base in 17 straight games.
∎ Marc Fucarile, who lost his right leg in last year’s Boston Marathon bombing, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. He was married in Fenway Park last Thursday.
∎ Boston’s jerseys had the word “BOSTON” on the front instead of the usual “RED SOX.”
∎ The Red Sox send Jon Lester (2-2) to the mound tonight for the start of a three-game home series against the Yankees. Masahiro Tanaka (2-0) pitches for New York. The Orioles will start Miguel Gonzalez (1-1) against R.A. Dickey (1-3) of the Blue Jays in the opener of a three-game series at Toronto.