Baltimore vs. Boston: Orioles Beat Red Sox in Wild Affair at Fenway Park

James MorisetteCorrespondent IIIMay 7, 2012

Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy had five hits Sunday in a wild affair, as Baltimore beat the Boston Red Sox 9-6 in 17 innings of play at Fenway Park.

In a game that featured a slew of twists and turns, awkward plays and position players on both ball clubs pitching to keep their clubs in the game, the Orioles kept their wits about them.

The Orioles built an early 2-0 lead on two solo home runs by Hardy. Second baseman Robert Andino followed Hardy with a three-run shot in the fourth inning that scored Matt Wieters and Mark Reynolds.

But the Red Sox fought back in the bottom of the fourth inning when right fielder Ryan Sweeney singled to center, scoring shortstop Mike Aviles.

The Red Sox then tied the game in the bottom of the fifth when rookie third baseman Will Middlebrooks whacked a grand slam over the Green Monster.

Reynolds broke the tie in the top of the eighth inning with a double that scored Adam Jones.

But again, the Red Sox fought back, tying the game in the bottom of the same inning when Jarrod Saltalamacchia scored Darnell McDonald on a sacrifice fly.

This is where things got interesting.

For the next seven innings, the game continued in a standstill, with neither team really mounting much of an assault.

However, like with most ballgames, attrition with pitchers began to take its toll.

By the top of the 16th inning, the Orioles had exhausted all their hurlers.

Boston fans celebrated seemingly certain victory, as Chris Davis took to the mound for the Orioles.

However, much to the surprise of the Red Sox, Davis pitched through his first inning like a wily veteran.

This was not to say things did not get hairy for the birds.

With two outs, Orioles third baseman Wilson Betemit committed an error on a sharp ground ball hit by Marlon Byrd. After, Red Sox shortstop Aviles smacked a double off the left-center field wall. Byrd rounding third, Orioles center fielder Jones fired perfect relay to Hardy, who then fired a perfect strike to Wieters. In a mild collision at home plate, Wieters tagged Byrd for the third and final out.

In the bottom of the 16th inning, Boston (also out of pitchers) sent outfielder Darnell McDonald to the hill. This proved to be Boston’s demise, for Jones soon delivered a three-run home run over the Green Monster.

With a 9-6 lead, Baltimore's Davis returned to the mound to pitch the bottom of the 17th inning. While Boston threatened, Davis dug deep. After giving up a single and a walk, Davis struck out Adrian Gonzalez before getting McDonald to ground into a game-ending double play.

With the win the Orioles swept the Red Sox and moved into first place in the AL East. The Orioles, who have won five of six games on their current road trip, are now 19-8, which is the team’s best start since 1968.

At 11-16, the Red Sox fall 7.5 games behind the Orioles.

Sweeney had four hits for Boston in the loss.

Davis and Adrian Gonzalez both went 0-for-8 at the plate in this 6:07 baseball marathon.

Read: Is it time for the Boston Red Sox to call up Jose Iglesias?


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