Red Sox fall to Orioles, but clinch best record in American League
By the way of Oakland losing to Seattle earlier in the day, the Red Sox clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs even before taking the field against the Orioles. So when they took to the field the result didn’t matter much as they fell to the Orioles 6-5 Saturday night in Baltimore.
With the Red Sox holding a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth, Franklin Morales allowed a double to Steve Pearce, which scored Nate McClouth and Danny Valencia giving the Orioles a 6-5 lead, proving to be the game-winning hit. Junichi Tazawa took the loss as after he threw a scoreless seventh inning, he allowed the first two men in the eighth to reach, who eventually scored. Matt Thornton worked a scoreless sixth inning in the loss, while starter Jon Lester earned a no decision tossing five innings allowing four runs on nine hits, which wasn’t exactly how he would have liked to end his regular season.
Offensively the Red Sox were led by Daniel Nava who went 4-for-4, while Dustin Pedroia collected three hits and Stephen Drew, David Ross as well as Jonny Gomes each added two. The Sox trailed 4-2 going into the sixth, but scored three times to take a 5-4 lead, before giving it up in the eighth.
The Red Sox will close out the regular season tomorrow afternoon (1:35, NESN) where John Lackey will go up against Chris Tillman.
What they’ll be saying: Even though the Red Sox fell to the Orioles, the biggest thing was clinching home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which could prove to be a big key as the Sox are 53-28 at home this year, the best mark in the American League … It wasn’t the best of starts for Lester, who couldn’t seem to get in a rhythm all night long. It was the most runs he has allowed in a game since August 2 when he allowed six to the Diamondbacks. Despite the struggles Saturday night, all signs point towards Lester being on the mound next Friday when the Sox host Game 1 of the ALDS.