The Boston Red Sox have shown early this season they can win with big performances at the plate. In their last game, they proved they're not just a potent offensive lineup.
After pulling out a win despite a subpar offensive showing, the Red Sox look to clinch their third consecutive winning series to open the season as they continue a three-game set against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
Boston (5-2) averaged 8.5 runs and batted .335 in its first four wins, totaling eight home runs and 11 doubles. The Red Sox couldn't muster that kind of offense in Monday's five-hit performance against Baltimore, but still managed a 3-1 victory behind Clay Buchholz 's pitching. Daniel Nava 's three-run homer in the seventh powered Boston to its ninth straight home-opening win.
While the Red Sox were encouraged by the victory, the Orioles (3-4) refused to make too much of their third straight defeat. Each of Baltimore's first three losses came by one run before Monday's two-run setback.
"We might spend all day tomorrow crying as a team, holding each other's hands, spend all day walking through the Prudential Center (in Boston) crying," outfielder Adam Jones said sarcastically. "We're playing good baseball. We've got 155 games to go, a lot of games to go."
Baltimore was limited to season lows in runs and hits (five) Monday, but still rank among major league leaders with a .283 team batting average and 38 runs scored.
"We didn't do much offensively," manager Buck Showalter said. "Seven games into the season, no one's concerned."
The Orioles will try to bounce back against Ryan Dempster (0-1, 5.40 ERA), making his first home start for Boston after signing a two-year, $26.5 million contract in December. The veteran right-hander has a 6.06 ERA in three career starts at Fenway Park, but gave up no earned runs in 6 2/3 innings there last season, his only appearance at Fenway since 2001.
Dempster had command issues in his season debut, giving up three runs and five hits while walking four in a 4-2 road loss to the Yankees on Thursday.
Dempster is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in two career starts against the Orioles. He held them to one run and four hits in eight innings of a 5-1 victory Aug. 20.
Baltimore outfielder Nate McLouth is 6 for 20 (.300) with a home run, two doubles and three walks against Dempster, but shortstop J.J. Hardy is just 2 for 27 with seven strikeouts.
Baltimore's Jake Arrieta (0-0, 9.00) will take the mound for his second start. The right-hander gave up five runs in five innings of his 2013 debut Friday, but Baltimore scored five in the eighth and beat Minnesota 9-5.
Arrieta is 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA in five career games – four starts – against the Red Sox, including 0-1 with an 8.53 ERA at Fenway Park.
Jacoby Ellsbury has two hits – both home runs – and two walks in five at-bats against Arrieta. Nava, who has homered in consecutive games and is 6 for 12 this season, is 3 for 5 with a homer and a walk against him.
Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is 1 for 9 with three strikeouts during Baltimore's three-game losing streak after going 9 for 15 with four home runs and three doubles during the club's 3-1 start.
The Red Sox activated Stephen Drew off the seven-day concussion disabled list Wednesday. He has yet to play this season after being hit in the helmet by a pitch March 7 in spring training.
|April 07, 2013||Nolan Reimold||Day-to-Day||Right hamstring tightness|
|April 05, 2013||Brian Roberts||15-Day DL||Ruptured tendon, right knee|
|April 04, 2013||Brian Roberts||Day-to-Day||Right hamstring injury|
|March 26, 2013||Wilson Betemit||15-Day DL||Right PCL tear|
|March 23, 2013||Steve Johnson||15-Day DL||Strained right lat|
|March 22, 2013||Tsuyoshi Wada||60-Day DL||Recovery from left elbow surgery|
|Boston Red Sox|
|April 06, 2013||John Lackey||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right biceps strain|
|March 27, 2013||Stephen Drew||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|March 22, 2013||Franklin Morales||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|March 22, 2013||David Ortiz||15-Day DL||Right Achilles soreness|
|March 22, 2013||Craig Breslow||15-Day DL||Left shoulder tendinitis|
|February 20, 2013||Ryan Kalish||60-Day DL||Recovery from right shoulder surgery|
BOSTON (AP) -- Most of the seats were empty late on a rainy night when the Boston Red Sox's home sellout streak of nearly 10 years ended.
Manny Machado ruined it for the fans who remained.
His three-run homer off closer Joel Hanrahan capped a five-run ninth inning and gave the Baltimore Orioles an 8-5 win Wednesday night.
"It was a huge win for us," Machado said after his first homer of the year. "To come out with the victory is just going to give us the big boost that we needed to get this show rolling."
The Orioles were headed for their fourth straight loss after consecutive homers by Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia gave Boston a 5-3 lead in the sixth. Then Hanrahan, who was three-for-three in save opportunities as Boston's new closer, came on in the ninth.
"I felt fine," he said. "I got ahead of a couple of guys and I just didn't put them away."
Chris Davis started the inning with his fifth homer before Hanrahan, obtained in the offseason from the Pittsburgh Pirates , retired the next two batters. Then he was one strike away from winning, but Ryan Flaherty singled on a 2-2 pitch for his first hit in 18 at-bats this season. He had struck out in his other three at-bats Wednesday.
"You want to get on base and give your team a chance to win," he said. "You never want to wait until the ninth, but it was good resilience and a good win."
Nolan Reimold then walked on four pitches and Nate McLouth walked on a borderline pitch with a 3-2 count, loading the bases.
"There was some calmness and professionalism to those at-bats," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said.
On the first pitch to Machado, Hanrahan fired the ball into the dirt for a wild pitch that scored pinch-runner Alexi Casilla with the tying run. And the next pitch was Hanrahan's last of the game - Machado's homer over the Green Monster in left field. Hanrahan left to a round of boos.
"I probably would have given the same reception," Hanrahan (0-1) said. "They stuck through a rain delay. They stuck it out."
Darren O'Day (1-0) got the win and Jim Johnson pitched the ninth for his third save.
"You've got your closer in the game, the ballgame locked up, it's tough," catcher Saltalamacchia said. "But I still feel that Joel's got some of the best stuff I've ever caught."
The sellout streak began on May 15, 2003, lasted 820 games, including the postseason, and was the longest in major pro sports history. It broke the record of 814 set by the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers from 1977-95. Boston's streak of 794 regular-season sellouts also is the longest in major pro sports history. The previous longest regular-season streak in major league baseball history was 455 set by the Cleveland Indians from 1995-2001.
Nava gave the Red Sox a 4-3 lead with his third homer in three games, an opposite-field shot over the Green Monster. Saltalamacchia followed with his first homer, a hard shot over the right-field fence.
Baltimore took a 1-0 lead in the first with the help of Boston's first error of the season. McLouth walked before Machado hit a fly ball to right-center. Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and right fielder Shane Victorino converged on it. Victorino ducked in front of Ellsbury and the ball fell safely. Victorino was charged with the error during the game, but the error was later given to Ellsbury after manager John Farrell said Ellsbury had called for the ball late.
Machado moved to third on the play and scored on a groundout by Nick Markakis .
The Red Sox tied it in the second on a walk to Nava and an RBI-double by Saltalamacchia. They went ahead 3-1 in the third when Jackie Bradley Jr. led off with a walk, Ellsbury tripled him home and Victorino hit a sacrifice fly.
Another error helped the Orioles tie the game in the fourth. Markakis started the inning with his first homer of the season. Adam Jones then walked, extending his hitting streak to all eight games, and moved up on a wild pitch. Matt Wieters then singled to left and Jones scored when the ball eluded Bradley.
NOTES: The game was delayed by rain for 43 minutes after the fifth inning with the score 3-3. ... Reimold returned to the lineup after leaving Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins with a strained right hamstring. ... There was a moment of silence before the game for Dave O'Hara, the former New England sports editor for The Associated Press in Boston, who died Wednesday at the age of 86. ... The Red Sox activated SS Stephen Drew from the seven-day concussion disabled list, optioned SS Jose Iglesias to Pawtucket and called up RHP Alex Wilson from that Triple-A team. ... The Orioles traded RHP Luis Ayala to Atlanta for LHP Chris Jones . Jones was assigned to Double-A Bowie. Baltimore purchased the contract of OF Chris Dickerson from Triple-A Norfolk.