BALTIMORE — Alex Wilson woke up 6 a.m. Thursday in Providence. Nearly 18 hours later, he was standing on the mound at Camden Yards with the game on the line in the bottom of the 13th inning.
Wilson made the pitch he wanted to Baltimore’s Chris Davis, a fastball inside. Davis didn’t hit the ball well, but well enough to get it over the infield for a single that gave the Orioles a 5-4 victory against the Red Sox.
“Right where nobody could get it,” said third baseman Will Middlebrooks, one of the three Sox players who chased the ball in vain. “That’s how it goes sometimes.”
Wilson got two quick outs in the 13th before walking Nick Markakis. Adam Jones then singled to right. Davis cracked his bat when he was jammed, but placed the ball perfectly.
“It comes down to being a competitor and sometimes when you don’t feel like you got beat it’s kind of disappointing obviously,” Wilson said. “He did his job. It worked out well for him. They played a hard game just like we did.”
Wilson has pitched well for the Sox, posting a 2.61 earned run average in 17 appearances. He will probably be sent back to Triple A Pawtucket because the weary Red Sox bullpen will need a fresh arm for Friday. But Wilson earned the right to pitch in other tight situations later this season.
He also won the respect of his teammates. Several approached him in the quiet clubhouse after the game to give words of encouragement.
“I thought he threw the ball outstanding,” manager John Farrell said.
Wilson pitched 2 2/3 innings and threw 40 pitches, every one of them with the result in the balance. This after his flight was delayed four hours, so long that he considered taking a train here.
“It’s been a long day,” he said after a game that lasted four hours and 35 minutes.
It’s been a long week for the Red Sox, who beat the Rays in 14 innings on Monday. That game featured a big lead lost, several comebacks and nearly a brawl. It was a much more sedate affair against the Orioles as the teams barely seemed awake as the night dragged on.