Rookie Kyle Weiland made his second start and pitched well, recording his first career quality start. He went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits, while walking three and striking out two.
Unfortunately, Weiland’s counterpart Jeremy Guthrie was equally effective, allowing just two runs over seven frames. It remained a one-run game until the bottom of the eighth.
In his second inning of work out of the pen, Alfredo Aceves allowed three runs extending Baltimore’s lead to 6-2. Boston was unable to recover, going 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth to drop the middle game of the three-game set.
Here’s a look at what went wrong (and right) in a very quickly played game (two hours and 37 minutes).
Gonzalez slumping: Since the All-Star break Adrian Gonzalez is just 2-for-24 with seven strikeouts. He has looked uncomfortable at the plate swinging at several bad pitches over the last few days leading many to believe his participation in the Home Run Derby may have botched his swing.
Gonzalez denied this, instead assigning blame to the long four-day layoff from meaningful baseball. He attributes his mini-funk to timing and swinging at bad pitches, not bad mechanics following the derby.
His average has dropped 17 points from .354 to .337 in just five games, but Gonzalez is confident he will get his swing back relatively soon.
Aceves lit up: Alfredo Aceves entered the ballgame with the Orioles clinging to a 3-2 lead in the seventh. He allowed just two hits, but they were back-to-back homers to Derrek Lee and Mark Reynolds. He exited with a line of three runs on two hits, with a strikeout and a walk over two innings of work.
Weiland solid: Making his second career start (both against Baltimore), Kyle Weiland turned in a much better outing than his debut (six runs over four innings before getting ejected). The 24-year-old righty went six innings, throwing exactly 100 pitches, and allowing three runs on six hits while walking three and striking out a pair.
However it wasn’t enough. Weiland received his first Major League decision in the form of a loss, dropping him to 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA.
Pedie extends hitting streak: In the first inning, Dustin Pedroia hit a soft dribbler towards third base. Mark Reynolds charged and fired a decent throw to first, but Pedroia hustled and beat the throw, giving him an infield single, and extending his hitting streak to 17 games.
His effort to beat out the groundball paid off, as it was his only hit of the night. During this 17-game stretch, he has been on an absolute tear, demonstrating his ability to spontaneously become as hot as anybody in baseball.
Since June 29, Pedroia has raised his average from .273 to .295, hitting seven homers, six doubles, and scoring 18 runs. From July 5 to July 16, he hit six homers in a span of eight games.
During this time he has also come up with clutch game-changing hits most recently in Tampa Bay and in this series with Baltimore, earning him the new nickname “Muddy Chicken”.
Reddick continues to rake: Josh Reddick has taken full advantage of his time in the Big Leagues this year. Tonight he went 3-for-4 with a double, raising his average to .367. If he continues to play this well into August, he might completely usurp JD Drew of the starting job in right field.
Salty goes yard: For the second straight night, Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered. He blasted an 0-1 cutter from Jeremy Guthrie to deep right field for a two-run shot. It is his eighth homer of the season.
A native of Wellesley, Mass., Aashish is a lifelong fan of the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics. He graduated Wellesley High School in 2008, and is currently a senior at the University at Buffalo in Amherst, N.Y. You can follow him on Twitter @aashish1989.