The Red Sox' hopes of snagging third place seem dead, as another loss to the Orioles has dropped them even further behind.
That this game saw extra innings should be seen as nothing short of miraculous when you consider how it started. Joe Kelly was phenomenal through the first two, striking out the side in the second. Then he stepped up in the third, gave up a single to start it, hung a curveball to Steve Pearce who crushed it for a two-run shot, and proceeded to surrender singles to three of the next four batters. Out came Torey Lovollu, away went Joe Kelly with what would ultimately be described as right shoulder tightness and fatigue.
So Joe Kelly's run of wins came to an end after eight with a twist on the prototypical Joe Kelly disaster. Bringing the bullpen into the game with three runs already on the board (four after a sacrifice fly) and 20 outs left to record. Not a good recipe for success.
Somehow, though...the Red Sox got there. They'd already scored a run in the top of the inning, though it was a slightly weak return from a frame that saw a bases loaded walk to drive that in. And after Craig Breslow got them through the fourth, the Sox finally made Ubaldo Jimenez pay in earnest come the fifth, The top of the lineup which had been responsible for setting up the third-inning run was once again at work here, with Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia, and Xander Bogaerts producing hits to put two on and drive a run in. David Ortiz added another with a sacrifice fly, and while Pablo Sandoval ended up getting himself thrown out at second after being slow out of the box on a fly ball that didn't miss home run distance by much, he at least managed to drive in the tying run before he made the third out.
The bullpen would not prove perfect in the middle innings, with Breslow, tabbed for a third inning, surrendering a go-ahead homer to Manny Machado soon thereafter. But that was all Baltimore would get out of Boston's middle relief, giving Travis Shaw a chance to bring the Sox even once more in the eighth with his eleventh homer of the year. With neither side budging in the ninth, the game was headed to extra innings.
By that point, though, the Red Sox had already used up five relievers to the Orioles' three. And while the pen was still capable of giving them a few more scoreless frames, with the Red Sox not capitalizing on offense, that well eventually ran dry. In the bottom of the thirteenth, having just carved his way through the middle and bottom of the order in the eleventh and twelfth, Jonathan Aro quickly walked Gerardo Parra, then gave up a base hit to Manny Machado. Torey Lovullo called on Robbie Ross, but it was too little, too late, with Chris Davis producing the seemingly inevitable walk-off single to end the game.