After an unusual early morning wake-up call, the Orioles walked into a Fenway Park filled with emotion Monday morning. As the city of Boston celebrated Patriots' Day — a statewide holiday in Massachusetts — helicopters circled overhead, and participants ran through nearby Kenmore Square for the stretch run of the Boston Marathon. Given the events of last year's marathon bombings, it was a celebration that life in New England had returned to normal. The Orioles were obliged to play a part in the special day, even though it meant a little more than 12 hours between the end of a walk-off loss on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball and Monday's 11:05 a.m. start. A day after the Red Sox rallied from a five-run deficit for the victory, the Orioles held onto an early six-run lead for a 7-6 win Monday in front of an announced sellout crowd of 37,513. “The one last night got away from us, and it started building up in the same situation again in today's game,” said Orioles catcher Steve Clevenger, who made a key defensive play to end a threat by the Red Sox in the eighth inning. “But we kept our composure and threw strikes and made plays we needed to make.” The Orioles (9-9) escaped Boston with a split of their four-game series, and headed north to Rogers Centre for three games against the Toronto Blue Jays to complete a span of 15 straight games against American League East opponents. Their record so far in that stretch is 7-5. Although the Orioles scored six runs in the third inning to knock Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz out of the game, closer Tommy Hunter needed to escape trouble in the ninth to convert his fifth save in six opportunities this season. Boston had the tying run on base in each of the final three innings, including the winning run on second base in the ninth. “You're in the East, the best [division] in baseball,” Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said. “You're always one pitch away, especially in a one-run game, from being tied, especially with this [Red Sox] offense. They can tie the game up very, very quickly or make havoc for you. They grind it out. That's the beauty of this game. That's why we love the competition, and we stuck it out. That's all that matters to me.” The final two games of the series here had the intensity of a pennant race in April, from the buzz around the ballpark for marathon weekend to the way Orioles manager Buck Showalter maneuvered his bullpen like it was a must-win game.
Orioles build six-run lead, hang on for 7-6 victory over Red Sox
Baltimore Sun | Apr 22