A notable night at Fenway Park as the "Sellout Streak", which began on May 15, 2003, came to an "official" close. Ask me if I care. Okay.
On to the game, where the Red Sox had their first rain delay of the year. Prior to the delay, the Sox had a sloppy game of errors and mis-communication in the field.
In the first inning, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino bumped into each other near the bullpen, resulting in a run scored. Later in the fourth inning, Jackie Bradley Jr added to the mishap and collected his first major league error on a botched ball in left field. A run resulted from that error as well, giving the Red Sox two unearned runs. What should have been a 3-1, turned into a tie ballgame; ugly to say the least.
After a hurried fifth inning as the rain poured down, the rain delay was put into effect. After the 45-minute delay concluded, the Red Sox came out of the clubhouse ready to pounce. Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia proceeded to hit back-to-back homers, pushing the home team to a 5-3 lead. Nava launched his into the Green Monster seats (this time from the left side of the plate), while Salty hit a bomb into the bullpen.
It's also worth noting Stephen Drew's Red Sox debut. He made a fabulous play in the hole to nab the runner at second at one point. However, he did nothing at the plate: 0-3.
Ryan Dempster looked strong in his first appearance at Fenway Park as a member of the Red Sox. He showed strong command of the strike zone and had some nasty breaking stuff for punch-outs. That's exactly what you need to see out of Dempster this year. He did not return to the mound following the rain delay. His final line: 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R (1 ER), 2 BB, and 7 K.
Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, and Andrew Bailey provided elite middle relief, maintaing the lead. However, things got bumpy in the 9th.
Closer Joel Hanrahan gave up a solo shot to Chris Davis with no outs, cutting the Red Sox lead to one. He battled back and enduced two outs via strikeout and pop-up...but then Hanrahan made things even more interesting, allowing a base-hit and walking two, thus loading the bases (VERY close calls).
Following the walk, Hanrahan's next pitch went right into the dirt getting past Salty leading the Orioles to tie the ball game. It wasn't even close. It looked like something you'd see from a celebrity throwing out the First Pitch.
The very next pitch? A meatball over the plate to Manny Machado, 8-5 Orioles just like that. Why John Farrell didn't pull Hanrahan after that atrocious pitch in the dirt is beyond me. Very questionable decision there. Let's hope we don't see more outings like this from Hanrahan in the near future. Yikes.
This isn't exactly the right way to start a new sellout streak, is it?
Alfredo Aceves will take the mound tomorrow vs Chris Tillman in the final game of the series.