By HOWARD ULMAN AP Sports Writer
BOSTON (AP) _ Robert Andino’s three-run double in the eighth
inning gave the Baltimore Orioles a 7-5 win Tuesday night and
ruined a chance for the Boston Red Sox to extend their two-game
lead in the AL wild-card race.
Andino’s go-ahead hit came off Jonathan Papelbon, who had gone
21 games since last allowing a run on July 16. It was his second
blown save of the season and first since May 9, the last time he
entered a game before the ninth inning.
The Red Sox seemed headed for a three-game, wild-card lead over
Tampa Bay, which lost to the New York Yankees 5-0 on Tuesday. But
their struggles continued as they fell to 4-13 since leading the
Rays by nine games on Sept. 3. Boston has seven games remaining and
Tampa Bay has nine.
Willie Eyre (2-1) got the win and Jim Johnson picked up his
eighth save in 13 opportunities. Daniel Bard (2-9) had runners at
first and second with one out when he was replaced by Papelbon.
Papelbon, who had 28 strikeouts in the 21 scoreless outings,
struck out Chris Davis for the second out. Then Nolan Reimold
singled to short left field, loading the bases, and Andino doubled
down the right-field line for his third hit of the game.
The Red Sox wrap up a three-game series with the Orioles on
Wednesday night before playing their last six on the road, three
each against the New York Yankees and Baltimore.
Adrian Gonzalez drove in three runs with a two-run homer and a
double for the Red Sox.
They went ahead 1-0 in the first on consecutive doubles by
Dustin Pedroia and Gonzalez.
But Baltimore scored four runs in the third when starter Erik
Bedard threw 51 pitches and retired just two batters. With one out,
Andino singled on a 13-pitch at-bat and scored on Nick Markakis’
two-out double. Vladimir Guerrero then hit a liner to right fielder
Josh Reddick who misjudged it by taking a few steps in then had it
go off his glove for a two-base error as he went back, allowing
Markakis to score.
After walks to Matt Wieters and Adam Jones loaded the bases,
Mark Reynolds hit a two-run double.
The Red Sox cut the lead to 4-3 in the third on a double by
Pedroia and Gonzalez’s 27th homer of the season.
They went ahead with two runs in the fourth, helped by an error.
With no outs, Marco Scutaro walked, Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled
and Mike Aviles singled in the tying run. Jacoby Ellsbury’s single
loaded the bases.
After Pedroia struck out, Gonzalez grounded to first baseman
Reynolds, who threw home for the force then let the return throw go
off his glove. That allowed Gonzalez, who was several feet from the
base when the ball got to Reynolds, to reach safely and Aviles to
score the tie-breaking run.
Notes: Baltimore manager Buck Showalter was ejected for arguing
a third-strike call against Weiters in the fifth. … CF Jones, who
had an injured thumb, and 1B Reynolds, who was hit in the head by a
pitch on Saturday returned to the Orioles lineup. … Ellsbury’s
single in the fourth was his 200th hit. It came one day after
Gonzalez had five hits to reach 203 for the season. It’s the third
time the Red Sox have had two players with 200 hits in the same
season _ Wade Boggs (240) and Bill Buckner (201) in 1985 and Boggs
(207) and Jim Rice (200) in 1986. … Guerrero and Jones were
thrown out trying to steal in the fourth by Saltalamacchia. …
Josh Beckett (13-5) pitches for Boston against Tommy Hunter (4-4)
on Wednesday night. … Boston RHP Clay Buchholz reported no
problems after throwing a 32-pitch simulated game on Tuesday. He
hasn’t pitched since June 16 because of a stress fracture in his
back and hopes to pitch if the Red Sox reach the playoffs.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)