BALTIMORE -- Carl Crawford seemed to have some explaining to do after he allowed Mark Reynolds's 2-RBI double to fly over his head in left field, allowing the Orioles to strike the crowning blow in a five-run sixth inning outburst that pinned the Red Sox with a 5-3 loss Wednesday night at Camden Yards.
What Crawford needed to explain, though, was why he didn't appear to make an attempt to even reach out with his glove.
It seemed similar to the lackluster effort Crawford submitted on the last play of the 2011 season when he came charging in from left and couldn't come up with a sliding catch on Robert Andino's low-liner to left.
"You guys can write whatever you want on that, but it was a tough play, in my mind,'' Crawford said of the ball Reynolds hit to left Wednesday night. "It just sailed over my head.''
Asked why he didn't attempt to even reach out for it, Crawford replied, "I don’t think I could’ve made that catch, to be honest with you guys. It was way over my head. I pretty much didn’t get it.’’
Asked for his take on Crawford’s fielding gaffe, Sox manager Bobby Valentine seemed to bite his tongue when he replied, "Tough play.’’
It was but one of many for the Red Sox (57-61) who lost for the eighth time in 11 games this season vs. the Orioles after watching Aaron Cook twirl a perfect game through three innings and take a no-hitter into the sixth, where he imploded after allowing five runs (two earned) on three hits and three walks (tying a season high).
"He really pitched well for the five innings and fielding his position really well during that time,’’ said Valentine, who was ejected in the eighth inning by home plate umpire Mike Everitt for arguing the ejection of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who argued a quick-pitch delivery by reliever Pedro Strop should have been called a ball.
"He just had a misplay that could’ve got us out of the inning,'' Valentine said of Cook, "and – ahh, Lordy – we didn’t turn the double play, gave up a double and the next thing we were down by a few runs.’’
In the span of Baltimore’s game-breaking five-run, six-hit outburst in the sixth, Cook lost, in succession: the no-hitter, then the shutout, then a 2-0 lead, and, at the end of it all, the game when he departed after in 5 1/3 innings.
"I let the team down,’’ said Cook, after the Sox remained 6 1/2 games behind the Tampa Rays for the second American League wild card berth. "We’re trying to win games and that’s one we should’ve won,’’ Cook said. "And we lost because I made an error.’’
Cook made a throwing error that haunted him when he snagged Adam Jones’s sharply-struck comebacker to the mound, attempted to start a double play by spinning around and throwing to second, but wound up putting the go-ahead run on third when his wild throw went bounding into center.
"It’s a play I’ve made over a hundred times,'' Cook said. "I just didn’t get my feet set and tried to make a quick throw. I had plenty of time and just yanked it. It was just a bad throw and it ended up costing us a game. Stuff like that can’t happen."