BOSTON -- Red Sox closer Koji Uehara was on historic stretch of late, retiring 37 hitters in a row and not allowing a run in 30 1/3 consecutive innings. That is until Tuesday night.
Entering the game in the ninth with the game tied at two, he allowed a lead-off triple to Danny Valencia, followed by a sacrifice fly from Matt Wieters, which proved to be the game-winning run in the Orioles come-from-behind, 3-2 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park in game the Red Sox led 2-0 entering the fifth.
"Koji [Uehara] has been so good for us and even after the run allowed he continued to pitch as he has," manager John Farrell said. "It didn't phase him as he finished out the inning. Tonight it was just a lot of missed opportunities early on. We did an excellent job of putting ourselves in a position to have people in scoring position. Those three double plays that they turned were key and to their credit they pitched well."
The Orioles had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the eighth as after a 1-2-3 seventh, Brandon Workman allowed the first two runners to reach setting up runners on second and third with no outs, which forced Farrell to call upon Craig Breslow. With the infield drawn in he got two straight ground outs to shortstop from Chris Davis and Adam Jones, followed by a fly out from Nick Markakis to get out of the jam.
The Red Sox got their runs on a lead-off home run from Dustin Pedroia and then a Xander Bogaerts sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. It wasn't a great night for the Sox offense totaling just three hits, only one coming after the second inning. Mike Carp and Jarrod Saltalamacchia had the other hits in the loss.
Although Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster allowed just two runs over six innings and only three hits, he wasn't particularly sharp as he walked four and could have very easily allowed more than the two runs if not for pitching out of a few jams. Orioles starter Chris Feldman had a similar night allowing two runs on two hits over five innings, while walking six. The Red Sox left seven runners on base.
The teams will continue their three-game series tomorrow night (7:10, NESN) where Jake Peavy will be opposed by Wei-Yin Chen.
What they'll be saying: You knew eventually Uehara's impressive streak would come to an end, and maybe in the long-run it was a good thing it happened now and not in the postseason. It was the longest single-season scoreless streak for a Sox reliever since Dick Radatz's 33-inning streak in 1963 ... It was a good sign seeing Breslow get out of the jam in the eighth after being put into a tough spot. He is emerging as the set-up man before Uehara as he's proven he can get both righties and lefties out. Over his last 28 appearances since July 9, Breslow is 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.