Bottoms up for Red Sox in win over Orioles
BOSTON - The bottom of Boston's lineup came through in a big way in the seventh inning to lead the Red Sox to a 4-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.
Third baseman Brock Holt, the No. 7 hitter summoned from Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday, broke a 2-2 tie with an RBI triple and infielder Jonathan Herrera followed with a successful safety squeeze.
The Red Sox, in last place in the AL East coming in, won for the third time in their last four games.
The hit made a loser of Baltimore starter Bud Norris (0-2) and gave the win to reliever Junichi Tazawa (1-0). Tazawa had replaced starter Felix Doubront with two out in the top of the seventh and got four straight outs before Koji Uehara picked up his fourth save as Boston improved to 8-10.
It was Uehara's 27th straight save conversion, counting postseason, dating back to last year. He issued his first walk of the season to start the ninth, but then struck out three straight to end the game.
The triple was Holt's second hit of the game, his fourth in the two games since his recall.
Designated hitter David Ortiz hit a solo homer (his third of the season) for the Red Sox, while left fielder Nelson Cruz had a pair of RBI singles for Baltimore (8-8). Cruz's second RBI hit, which tied the game in the sixth inning, came after his manager, Buck Showalter, successfully challenged a call at first base.
Ortiz and second baseman Dustin Pedroia also had two hits each for Boston, while right fielder Nick Markakis had a pair of hits for the Orioles.
In his first start against the Orioles, in the opening series, Doubront, who won that game, threw 33 pitches over the first three innings. Saturday, he threw 33 in a rocky first that saw him strike out three but also give up a run. But he then threw only 34 pitches in retiring 12 straight batters over the next four innings.
Markakis opened the sixth with his second single. But Doubront got a double play before a close two-strike pitch to outfielder Adam Jones did not go the pitcher's way. Jones doubled and stole third before Davis was hit by a pitch.
Cruz then hit a grounder to deep third and appeared to beat Holt's throw. Umpire Ted Barrett called Cruz out, Showalter came out (the review took just 49 seconds) and Cruz had his second RBI hit of the game.
An error by Holt loaded the bases but shortstop J.J. Hardy flied to center to drop to 0-for-3 on the day, 3-for-21 against Doubront.
With one out in the bottom of the first, second baseman Dustin Pedroia walked and rode to third when Ortiz singled off the wall in left field. First baseman Mike Napoli then hit what looked like a double-play grounder to third baseman Jonathan Schoop, who made his third error of his rookie season.
A discussion between the game's catchers - after Boston catcher David Ross was buzzed up and in on a bunt attempt in the seventh - led to the benches (not the bullpens) emptying. Nothing came of it except Showalter in a spirited discussion with plate umpire Mark Carlson.
Ross struck out but Holt then came through.
NOTES: Baltimore RF Nick Markakis went 2-for-3 with a walk against LHP Felix Doubront and is 8-for-16 lifetime against him. ... ESPN grabbing Sunday's game between the teams created a 7 p.m. ET start prior to Monday morning's Patriots' Day game at 11. ... RHP Ubaldo Jimenez takes an 0-3 record and 7.31 ERA to the mound for the Orioles Sunday night, while RHP Jake Peavy, 0-0 despite a 1.93 ERA, pitches for Boston. Jimenez is 1-3 with a 10.27 ERA in five lifetime starts against Boston and was shelled in his only Fenway Park start. .