SHERRILL CLOSES THE DOOR (End 9, 4:15, 6-2)
George Sherrill picked up his 21st save of the season, getting fly balls out of Jason Bay and Rocco Baldelli and finally a pop up from Adam LaRoche to put the Sox to bed.
NO FURTHER DAMAGE (Mid 9, 4:07, 6-2 O’s)
Takashi Saito got quick comebacker to start the inning with an out, but then he walked Brian Roberts and Felix Pie, forcing Terry Francona to go with Ramon Ramirez, who got Adam Jones and Nick Markakis both to line out to center.
SOX THREATEN, BUT COME UP WITH ONLY ONE (End 8, 3:54, 6-2)
George Kottaras led off with a walk and after Jacoby Ellsbury struck out swinging, Dustin Pedroia delivered double that allowed Kottaras to score. With Pedroia in scoring position it looked like the Sox would be able to string some offense together, but Kevin Youkilis grounded out to third, and David Ortiz sent a fly ball deep to right to end the inning.
SAITO KEEPS O’s QUIET (Mid 8, 3:49, 6-1)
With Takashi Saito on for Justin Masterson, Nolan Reimold singled for his second hit of the day. From there, Saito was clean, getting fly balls from Ty Wigginton and Melvin Mora, then fanning Geegg Zaun.
1-2-3 INNING (End 7, 3:36, 6-1 O’s)
Jason Bay, J.D. Drew, and Adam LaRoche all went down in order (Drew and LaRoche on fly balls), in another smooth inning for David Hernandez. Right-hander Danys Baez is up in the bullpen for the O’s.
THREE UP, THREE DOWN (Mid 7, 3:27, 6-1 O’s)
For the first time all day the O’s go down in order: Felix Pie on a ground ball to first, Adam Jones on a liner to second, and Nick Markakis on a bouncer back to the mound.
THREE MORE FLY BALLS (End 6, 3:21, 6-1 O’s)
Jacoby Ellsbury stroked his second single of the day, but after that it was more of the usual. Dustin Pedroia skied to left. Kevin Youkilis floated one to center, and David Ortiz popped up to short to end the inning.Fifteen of David Hernandez’s outs have come in the air.
ORDERLY SIXTH FOR MASTERSON (Mid 6, 3:12, 6-1 O’s))
Justin Masterson gave the Sox their first clean inning since the second, facing four batters, with a walk to Gregg Zaun as his only miscue.
SOX GET ON THE BOARD (End 5, 3:04, 6-1)
J.D. Drew got things started with a single past O’s first baseman Ty Wigginton, then moved to third on a shot by Adam LaRoche to right. It looked like Jed Lowrie got all of a David Hernandez pitch but it was only warning-track deep, still good enough to score Drew and get the Sox their first run.
MASTERSON UP IN THE ‘PEN (Mid 5, 2:51, 6-0)
Nick Markakis took SMoltz deep into the visitor’s bullpen to make it 6-0, and get Justin Masterson throwing in the Sox bullpen.
11 FLY BALLS? (End 4, 2:47, 5-0)
All but one of David Hernandez’s outs have come on fly balls. He’s a fly ball pitcher, but even the Baltimore media said this was a bit much. Jacoby Ellsbury singled up the middle for the Sox first hit of the day, but Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Yuokilism and David Ortiz all skied out in order.
O’s TACK ONE ANOTHER RUN (Mid 4, 2:35, 5-0 O’s)
Brian Roberts singled through the right side with two outs, then Feliz Pie roped a ball to left center. Roberts scored from first, but Pie was cut down trying to stretch a three bases out of a double.
ALL IN THE AIR (End 3, 2:29, 4-0, O’s)
Adam LaRoche skied out to left, Jed Lowrie did the same thing, and George Kottaras popped up high behind the plate. So far eight of the Sox nine outs have come from in the air, the only other being Jason Bay’s strikeout.
SMOLTZ RUNS INTO TROUBLE (Mid 3, 2:22, 4-0 0’s)
Nick Markakis stroked a two-out double to drive in Felix Pie, then Nolan Reimold switched places with Markakis, punching fastball to left-center for another RBI double. Sox pitching coach John Farrell made a trip to the mound to talk to John Smoltz, but the next batter Ty Wigginton kept the two-out surge going with a single that drove in Reimold. Smoltz ran his pitch count up to 60 in just three innings.
SOX HITTLESS THROUGH TWO (End 2, 2:09, 1-0 O’s)
David Ortiz popped up left of the pitcher’s mound, Jason Bay whiffed at a slider, J.D. Drew popped to second, and the Sox are still looking for their first hit off David Hernandez.
SMOLTZ HOLDS STEADY (Mid 2, 2:03, 1-0 O’s)
After Ty Wigginton stared at a pitch that may have been off the plate and out of the zone but was called strike three by home plate umpire Joe West, Melvin Mora laced a line drive to the gap in left center to put himself in scoring position with a double. Gregg Zaun moved him over with a fly ball to right. He was stranded 90 feet away thought after Smoltz grooved a slider past the O’s No. 9 hitter Robert Andino for the final out.
THREE STRAIGHT POP UPS (End 1, 1:54, 1-0 O’s)
Orioles starter Danny Hernandez made it snappy, getting Jascoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis all to sky out. He got extra effort from third baseman Melvin Mora who chased down a Youkils in foul territory, tumbling backward but still hanging on for the grab.
O’S JUMP OUT EARLY (Mid 1, 1:48, 1-0 O’s)
Before he was able to record an out, John Smoltz started the game with a walk to Brian Roberts then gave up a single to Felix Pie through the right side. He froze Adam Jones with a pitch inside for a strikeout looking. Roberts was able to come in on a Nick Markakis sacrifice to center, to put Baltimore up 1-0. Smoltz was able to get out of the inning by striking out Nolan Reimold, but his pitchcount for the inning was at 25.