The Red Sox started strong, but hit the wall in a hurry, leaving them the victims of a 7-2 beatdown at the hands of a superior Orioles team.
Boston seemed to carry their momentum from Friday night directly into the first inning Saturday. After a walk from Mookie Betts gave him a runner on base, David Ortiz got a curveball from Chris Tillman that stayed a little too high over the outside part of the plate and took it a long way to opposite field. Adam Jones and Alejandro De Aza headed back to the wall in left-center, but the ball kept carrying right over it for Ortiz' third homer in the eight innings.
With Allen Craig and Daniel Nava following Ortiz' blast up with singles, the Red Sox seemed ready to jump out to a commanding lead early on. And then...then they seemed to run out of gas. Rusney Castillo and Jackie Bradley Jr. each went down swinging, and while Will Middlebrooks reached base to start the second on a walk, he ran into an out at second, leaving Tillman free for a 1-2-3 frame.
Boston's only baserunner in the third would come thanks to an error, leaving the Orioles still within easy firing distance of the Sox, down just 2-0. And while Rubby De La Rosa had managed a quick first, a rough-but-scoreless second had raised the warning flag that he, too, was not going to be able to keep the early pace up. Adam Jones would be the one to prove that point, crushing a fastball to deep center field for a game-tying two-run shot in the third.
Rubby would manage to escape that inning without any more trouble, but after a scoreless fourth from the Red Sox lineup, he started off the bottom of the inning by surrendering another homer, this time a leadoff shot from Christian Walker. Ryan Flaherty followed up with a double to right, scoring later in the inning on a successfully executed squeeze play by Jonathan Schoop.
Now trailing 4-2, the wind was clearly taken out of Boston's sails. They wouldn't simply slow down--the offense stopped completely. Rusney Castillo's ninth-inning single produced both their next and last baserunner of the game.
So those four runs would have been enough, but Adam Jones tacked on a second two-run homer off of Heath Hembree an inning later in the bottom of the fifth. And while Steven Wright was very much able to stem the bleeding in three innings of work, even he found himself the victim of an RBI double from Nelson Cruz in the seventh. All told, the Orioles put up seven big runs against a Red Sox team which, after 154 games of this, looks good and ready to call it a season.