Orioles 6, Red Sox 5: Red Sox lose, no big deal

Jim Rogash

The Red Sox lost. Good news: it was a meaningless game.

When the Orioles topped the Red Sox on September 28, 2011, it was a disaster. When the Orioles topped the Red Sox on September 28, 2013, well, it's hard to imagine a less significant regular season loss.

If there was one component of Boston's loss that merits any concern, it was Jon Lester, who allowed four earned runs in just five innings of work, one of them coming on the first home run he's allowed in nearly two months. Still, if Lester was not on his game, he has more than earned his bad outing, with successful start after successful start, and nobody be they fan or pundit or even a member of the organization should have any reservations about him taking the mound in just under a week's time.

Otherwise, the big flop of the night came in the eighth, and that in a scenario we will hopefully not be seeing much of come October. With two men reaching base on ground balls off Junichi Tazawa in his second inning of work, John Farrell called on Franklin Morales to face the left-handed Nick Markakis. Morales responded with a strikeout, but then surrendered a double to Steve Pearce on a grass-cutting rocket down the left field line. In a one-run game with two men on in the playoffs, chances are Morales will not be facing right-handed hitters such as Pearce.

Other than that, this actually had all the hallmarks of a pretty good Red Sox game. Some nice defensive plays, a 4-for-4 performance from Daniel Nava (who will finish the season hitting over .300 barring an 0-for-5 tomorrow), a late comeback...that it happened in a loss doesn't honestly make it feel all that different when everything has been decided already as far as the regular season is concerned.

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