The Baltimore Orioles saw a three game winning streak come to an end on Thursday night losing 6-3 to the Boston Red Sox in the three game series finale.
Orioles starter Chris Tillman was in a world of trouble all night and did a surprisingly impressive job working around it. Tillman finished the night going just 4 2/3 innings pitched giving up three earned runs on six hits along the way. Tillman's struggles come to the forefront when you look at the pitch count. Tillman threw 110 pitches in just 4 2/3 innings, a number that is astronomically high and got the Orioles into the bullpen earlier than they would have liked. Although Tillman did not take the loss, he didn't pitch well enough to deserve the win either. Tillman did just enough to keep the Birds in the game before exiting after another disappointing outing.
Luis Ayala took the loss for the Orioles giving up three runs on four hits in just one inning of work. Three straight RBI singles by Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, and Cody Ross helped the Red Sox get the lead in the three run sixth inning off of Ayala. With the loss, Ayala moves to 4-4 on the season. The Birds also missed out on an opportunity to make up ground on the division leading New York Yankees who took a loss to the Texas Rangers today.
Adam Jones got the scoring started early for the Birds in the first inning as he hit an RBI double to right field scoring J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis. Perhaps the best news of the night for the Orioles came in the form of Mark Reynolds who continued swinging a hot bat when he launched a solo shot to deep center field giving the Orioles a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Reynolds continued his dominance over the Red Sox this season in this series as he picked up three home runs in the three game set. If only the Orioles could find a way to trick "The Sheriff" into believing that they are playing to Red Sox every night.
But Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz slammed the door shut after the first two innings giving up just two hits his next six innings pitched. Buchholz went eight strong for the Red Sox picking up his 11th win of the season as he continues to remain one of the few bright spots in a Red Sox rotation that has been awful all season..
This home stand was highlighted by many at the All-Star Break as a stand that could serve as the turning point in the season. The Birds had an incredibly successful home stand going 7-3 in ten games and have continued to hang around in the Wild Card picture as they prepare for the schedule to get more difficult. They head out on the road for a six game trip that includes three against Detroit Tigers who are just one game behind the Birds for the first Wild Card spot in the American League race.
It'll be Tommy Hunter dueling with Justin Verlander in what seems like a classic mismatch. Hopefully the Orioles remember to pack some Orioles magic with them and can find a way to take down Verlander and the Tigers.
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