BOSTON (AP) — Boston got off to a promising start that just lacked a finish.
Dustin Pedroia’s leadoff homer was one of only three hits for the Red Sox in a 3-2 loss Tuesday night to the Baltimore Orioles, who rallied from a 2-0 deficit for the victory.
Danny Valencia tripled to stop closer Koji Uehara’s streak of 37 consecutive outs in the ninth inning and Matt Wieters followed with the go-ahead sacrifice fly for the Orioles.
“Just a number of missed opportunities early on,” Boston manager John Farrell said.
Boston went without a hit from Mike Carp’s double in the second inning until Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s single up the middle in the ninth. The Red Sox failed to capitalize on six walks and were 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position.
“We were in it. We just didn’t get the final push,” Saltalamacchia said.
Brian Roberts’ run-scoring groundout in the fifth pulled Baltimore within 2-1, then Chris Davis’ 51st homer of the season in the sixth that tied the score 2-2. Davis broke the club record set by Brady Anderson in 1996.
Uehara (4-1) fell four outs short of Bobby Jenks’ major league record for a reliever of 41 consecutive retired batters set in 2007 and Mark Buehrle’s mark for all pitchers of 45 in 2009. The run was the first off Uehara in 30 2-3 innings and ended a streak of 27 scoreless outings since July 9.
“You don’t like your chances there with Koji, but we got a big hit from Danny,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Valencia led off the ninth with a triple to center and pinch-runner Alexi Casilla scored easily on Wieters’ fly to right.
“At the time of the game, that’s the difference for us,” Farrell said. “But Koji’s been so good for us. Even after the run allowed, continued to pitch as he has. Didn’t faze him and he finished out the inning.”
Boston’s three-game winning streak came to an end, but the magic number for the Red Sox to clinch the AL East dropped to three thanks to Texas’ 7-1 win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Jim Johnson worked the ninth for his AL-best 46th save for the Orioles, who remained two games out in the AL wild card race.
Tommy Hunter (6-4) got the win with a perfect eighth.
The Orioles threatened in the eighth when Nate McLouth singled and took third on Manny Machado’s AL-leading 51st double with no outs. But Craig Breslow replaced Brandon Workman and needed just six pitches to get out of the jam. With the infield in, he got Davis and Adam Jones to ground out to shortstop Stephen Drew as the runners held then retired Nick Markakis on a fly to left.
“I put him in a bad spot and he pitched exceptionally in that role,” Farrell said.
The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead on Pedroia’s ninth homer of the season. Left fielder McLouth didn’t even move as it went deep into the seats above the Green Monster.
They made it 2-0 in the fourth with the help of two errors by a team that had made just 43 all year.
With one out and third baseman Machado playing in short right field on the shift for Saltalamacchia, he charged a hard grounder and let it get by him for an error. Drew then walked before a double steal put runners at second and third. Xander Bogaerts followed with a low liner to left field that McLouth charged. The ball hit off his glove for an error and Saltalamacchia scored. Bogaerts was credited with a sacrifice fly.
Machado made a throwing error in the seventh on a grounder down the line by Pedroia.
The Orioles made it 2-1 in the fifth when Valencia walked, took third on a double by J.J. Hardy and scored on a groundout by Roberts.
NOTES: The Red Sox stole three bases and have been successful in their last 35 attempts. … With three errors, Baltimore’s total of errorless games remained at 113, tied with Houston’s total in 2008 for the most since 1900. … Wei-Yin Chin (7-7) pitches for Baltimore against Jake Peavy (3-1) in the second game of the three-game series Wednesday night. … The Red Sox recalled IF Brock Holt, and RHPs Brayan Villarreal and Steven Wright from Triple-A Pawtucket.