A scary start and a scary finish were not enough to sink the Red Sox Saturday afternoon, as Boston got to Freddy Garcia for five runs, and finally reversed their fortunes against the Orioles.
The scary start was courtesy of John Lackey, who came out looking for all the world like 2011 Lackey. The second pitch of the game was shot back up the middle and off his shin for a hit, the first of four hits he would allow to start the game, with only Adam Jones' infield single not hit on a line.
It was the sort of start that could easily have left the game over before the second inning. Instead of spiraling out of control, though, Lackey tightened up. An RBI ground ball followed by a pair of pop-ups was enough to hold the Orioles to just two runs, keeping the Red Sox well within reach.
While Freddy Garcia would work out of his own bit of trouble, blanking the Red Sox in the second despite David Ortiz' second triple of the season (a long fly ball that sent Adam Jones crashing into the wall before bouncing back off the track), he would not remain effective for much longer. A fourth-inning rally began with Dustin Pedroia being gifted new life on a foul ball that wasn't, then singling to get on base. After David Ortiz went down swinging, Garcia offered Mike Carp a fat 3-1 changeup, and Carp sent it into the seats in right for a two-run shot. Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew would continue the rally behind him, with Drew doubling Gomes home to make it a 3-2 Red Sox lead.
With Lackey continuing to put up zeroes, the Sox took the opportunity to build him a cushion in the middle innings. Small ball got the job done in the fifth, with a bunt and stolen base turning a leadoff single from Jacoby Ellsbury into a fourth run on a Dustin Pedroia ground out. The sixth would see an entirely different sort of attack, with Jonny Glomes clobbering another one of those changeups for a solo shot to center field.
That would be it for the Red Sox offense on the day, but it would also be enough--if just barely. John Lackey held the fort for seven strong, and Koji Uehara quickly struck out the side in the eighth. All that was left was Andrew Bailey, and while he made a mess of things, allowing a two-run homer to Matt Wieters, Alexi Casilla, pinch running for J.J. Hardy as the tying run, gifted the Red Sox their final outing, getting doubled up off first on a routine fly ball to right when he apparently forgot how many outs there were left.
It wasn't clean, easy, or necessarily even earned in the end. But Andrew Bailey finished the ninth with the Red Sox still on top, and that's what matters for Saturday's story.
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