In a game that mas far more of a blowout than the final score might suggest, the Red Sox fell to the Orioles 10-6 Wednesday afternoon, swept away with their fourth straight loss, leaving them mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
Getting the start for the Red Sox, Brandon Workman was an utter disaster once again. While he got through the first two innings unscathed, he fell completely to pieces in the third. While the first baserunner of the inning came on an infield single, Workman walked the third batter he faced, then allowed a pair of solid, run-scoring hits to Alejandro De Aza and Adam Jones on off-speed pitches that just lacked bite.
Carlos Rivero would be responsible for throwing away what would have been the second out of the inning, and if Workman was already in trouble, that sealed his fate. After allowing a single to Chris Davis to load the bases, Workman walked Steave Pearce to bring in a fourth run, then gave up back-to-back singles to Caleb Joseph and Ryan Flaherty to make it 6-0, only getting his second out on a baserunning mistake by the former.
Down six, the Red Sox were once again facing the possibility of a perfect game. It was not until the sixth inning that backup catcher Dan Butler got them in the hit column with a double--his first major league hit--and not until the seventh when Xander Bogaerts put them on the board, wrapping a solo shot around the left field foul pole. By that point, however, the Orioles had already put up two more runs off Craig Breslow in the fifth.
Ultimately, the Orioles would take a 10-1 lead into the ninth inning, where the Orioles finally solved the months-old question: what is it going to take to get these Red Sox hitting? The answer was Joe Saunders, who proceeded to allow a huge five-run inning, walking Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig, giving up doubles to Xander Bogaerts and Daniel Nava, and ultimately allowing the first homer of Carlos Rivero's major league career. Even with all that, though, the Red Sox still trailed by four runs when the Orioles made the change to bring in Tommy Hunter and, eventually, Darren O' Day to finish the job.
So give the Red Sox this: they made Baltimore go to actual relievers to hold onto what had once been a 10-1 lead. But that's more a story of just how bad Joe Saunders is than any positive mark for the Red Sox. For all that the final score looks like a more interesting game, the Sox were absolutely demolished today, and the only important positive to really write home about is that Xander Bogaerts looks like an honest-to-God baseball player again. No small thing, that, but cold comfort on elimination day.