Red Sox

Red Sox rally to beat Baltimore Orioles

Mike Carp watched his game-winning pinch-hit in the 8th inning. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

With Jarrod Saltalamacchia on second and Stephen Drew at the plate with two outs in the eighth inning of a tie game, Orioles manager Buck Showalter decided to play to the matchups.

Drew had burned the Orioles an inning earlier with a double that started a Red Sox rally.

Rather than give Drew a second chance to be a hero, he took the bat out of his hands, giving pitcher Tommy Hunter the signal to intentionally walk him.

From the on-deck circle, Mike Carp watched all four pitches sail by.

With a late-night fog thickening over Fenway Park, Carp was coming in cold, pinch hitting for rookie Xander Bogaerts.


It was a role with which he was accustomed.

All Carp needed was two pitches to make Showalter’s strategy useless.

He shot the first fastball he saw hard into foul territory down the third base line. The second, he looped into left field just beyond the glove of third baseman Manny Machado.

Saltalamacchia had more than enough time to score the run that would ultimately be the difference in Boston’s 4-3 win.

For Carp, it was more of the same. Coming in, he had reached base in 24 of his last 32 games with a plate appearance.

For the Red Sox, it was a continuation of a reversal of fortune. After being dominated by the Orioles for the better part of the past two seasons, they’ve won four straight games and now two straight series with back-to-back wins.

Koji Uehara came in to slam the door with a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 14th save.

In the span of five at-bats, the Orioles learned just how fickle odds are.

One minute, they were sitting on a two-run lead going into the bottom of the seventh, thanks to home runs from Chris Davis and Machado, and the numbers were on their side.


The Sox were 6-45 this season when they were trailing after the seventh inning, and in four of the Orioles’ six wins over the Sox this season, Baltimore was ahead going into the eighth.

Then, when Drew doubled to lead off the Sox’ half of the inning, the stats slowly switched allegiances.

After Bogaerts lined out sharply to Brian Roberts at second, Jacoby Ellsbury followed up with a one-out single up the middle.

At two different points, Sox manager John Farrell came out of the dugout with a trainer to check on the leadoff hitter after he fouled a ball off his foot. He met Ellsbury in the batter’s box as soon as it happened, and then again at first base after he singled.

Ellsbury not only remained in the game, he swiped second for his second steal of the game and his league-leading 49th of the season to put the tying run in scoring position.

Despite driving in seven runs the night before, Shane Victorino couldn’t cash in, firing another liner to Roberts to make it two outs with runners at the corners.

But with two outs, Dustin Pedroia did.

His ground ball hopped through the left side of the infield, sneaking between Machado and J.J. Hardy and rolling into the outfield, allowing Drew and Ellsbury to come home.


That quickly, the odds were in the favor of a Sox team that had won nine of 15 games when tied after seven.

If there was one absolute truth about the Orioles, it’s that they will hit home runs.

It’s been their weapon of choice all year.

No team has hit more this season. On the other hand, only one team has given up more. But for the better part of the summer, they’ve managed to use the double-edged sword to their advantage.

The fact that the Sox kept them in the ballpark over the course of their 13-2 beating Tuesday night was a testament to anomalies as much as it was the Sox’ pitching.

In August alone, the Orioles had gone deep in all but two of their 22 games coming into Wednesday night.

Even though he had only given up two in his last four starts, John Lackey hadn’t exactly been stingy with the long ball this season.

The 19 he had allowed were the second most on the team behind Ryan Dempster.

The two times they faced Lackey this season, the Orioles tagged him for three homers, more than any team in baseball.

But the shots he gave up to Machado in the third and Davis in the sixth both came with the bases empty, keeping the damage to a minimum.


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