Sunday, October 11, 2015

George bracket: Orioles (69) defeat Red Sox (09) in four games

Game One: 69 Orioles 4, 09 Red Sox 3 (11 innings)
WP: Watt (2-0)
LP: Okajima (0-2)
Save: D. Hall (2)
HR: Powell (6)

Game Two: 69 Orioles 7, 09 Red Sox 3
WP: McNally (2-0)
LP: Beckett (2-2)
HR: Lowrie (1), Blair (2)

Game Three: 69 Orioles 6, 09 Red Sox 3
WP: Palmer (3-0)
LP: Penny (1-1)
Save: Richert (2)
HR: Lowell (1)

Game Four: 69 Orioles 10, 09 Red Sox 9
WP: Watt (3-0)
LP: Saito (1-1)
HR: F. Robinson (6), Al Gonzalez (1), Bay (5)

The games were competitive, but they all had the same outcome: A Baltimore Orioles victory.

The series opened in Fenway Park, and Boog Powell homered in the Birds' two-run second off Jon Lester. Baltimore led 3-0 after five innings, scoring two runs with the aid of a pair of Nick Green errors, and Mike Cuellar sliced through the Red Sox lineup through seven innings. But in the eighth he walked J.D. Drew and hit Jason Varitek. With two outs Jacoby Ellsbury tripled. After Dustin Pedroia walked, Eddie Watt relieved and yielded a game-tying single to Kevin Youkilis.

Watt and the Boston bullpen held the tie into the 11th inning. when Frank Robinson doubled and Powell singled him home. Dick Hall relieved Watt and improbably -- Hall was one of the greatest control artists in baseball history -- walked three men before escaping the bottom of the 11th with the save.

The Orioles again scored twice in the second inning of Game Two. Designated hitter Dave May's double was followed by consecutive singles by Brooks Robinson, Elrod Hendricks and Mark Belanger. Jed Lowrie countered in the bottom of the third inning with a two-run homer off Dave McNally. Paul Blair's two-run homer in the fifth gave the Birds a 4-2 lead, and the Orioles broke the game open with three runs in the seventh, with Powell driving home two men.

The series shifted to Memorial Stadium in Baltimore for Game Three, and the Red Sox took their first lead of the series in the first inning as Ellsbury, Pedoria and Victor Martinez bunched base hits off Jim Palmer. The Orioles blasted Brad Penny for four runs in the bottom of the third, gathering two doubles, two singles and two walks. The Sox got one run back in the fourth (David Ortiz, pinch-hitting for Penny, with an RBI ground out) and another in the sixth on Mike Lowell's homer. But Belanger and pinch-hitter May hit consecutive doubles in the seventh, and May later scored on another Green error to widen the margin to three, Hall and Pete Richert tossed a scoreless inning apiece to wrap up the win.

Their backs to the wall, the Sox got a homer by Alex Gonzalez in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead off Tom Phoebus, then blasted the struggling right-hander for five more in the fourth, They added another off reliever Marcelino Lopez for a 7-0 lead. The inning featured a triple by Jason Bay, doubles by Gonzalez and Pedroia, singles by Ellsbury and Drew, a walk and a HBP for Youkilis and an unlikely two-base error by Blair.

But the Birds fought back. They got three in the fourth (a bases-loaded walk by Brooks Robinson and a two-run single by Hendricks) and two more in the fifth (homer by Frank Robinson). Bay's homer off Jim Hardin made the score 8-5 going into the bottom of the seventh, with Clay Buchholtz still working for the Sox. With one out, pinch-hitter May singled. One out later, Davy Johnson singled. Frank Robinson singled to load the bases, and Hideki Okajima entered to face Powell, who plated all three runners with a double. Merv Rettemund, in the lineup for the injured Blair, singled home Powell, and the Orioles had a 9-8 lead.

Richert threw a scoreless eighth and was hit for in the bottom of the inning as the Orioles were unable to add on against Takashi Saito. Watt took the hill for the top of the ninth, and immediately gave up a game-tying homer to Youkilis. But in the bottom of the ninth, Johnson led off with a single against Saito. Frank Robinson walked. Powell popped up. but Rettemund walked, and with Jonathan Papelbon on the hill, Brooks Robinson got the base hit that ended the game and the series.

Player of the series: Frank Robinson was 5-for-13 with four walks, two doubles and a homer. He scored seven runs and drove in three. He gets the honor over Powell, who was 5-for-16 with three walks, one double and one homer with two runs scored and seven RBIs.

Player availability: Blair will be recovered by the time the fourth round begins. The pitching staff will be fully rested.

Projected rotation: Cuellar-McNally-Palmer-Phoebus(?)-(Cuellar)-(McNally)-(Palmer). Phoebus may give way to Hardin or Dave Leonard.

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