Baltimore Orioles fall at rainy Fenway


Some days you win, some days you lose, and some days it rains. That’s the classic line from the movie Bull Durham, and unfortunately for the Baltimore Orioles the latter of those two options played out yesterday at Boston’s Fenway Park. It’s tough to win games when you commit three errors, and that was part of what befell Oriole starter Wei-Yin Chen on a rainy morning and early afternoon in Boston. Chen’s line: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R (0 earned) 5 BB, 3 K.

David Ortiz got things started for Boston early in the first inning with a sac fly-RBI which put the Orioles in an early hole. However an inning later Ryan Flaherty continued his hot weekend back in New England with an RBI-double that tied the score. However that was the closest that the Orioles would get. Mookie Betts reached on a fielding error by Chen in the last of the third inning, giving Boston a 2-1 lead. Later in the inning Mike Napoli would draw a bases-loaded walk, and the O’s trailed 3-1. 

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Courtesy of Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

However before that third inning was complete we saw yet another bizarre at Fenway, which prompted an argument from Buck Showalter. Shane Victorino sent a hot grounder to Machado at third, which was misplayed. The two-run error gave Boston a 5-1 lead, however as the ball trickled down the line it was touched by a fan – prompting a fan interference call. However crew chief Jerry Meals ruled that Victorino would have reached second base if not for the fan interference. That appeared to be a bit of a stretch, but it ended up being a footnote in a strangely-umpired series overall given that it didn’t yield Boston any additional runs. Dustin Pedroia and Allen Craig would add RBI in the last of the sixth to close out the scoring.

The game went into a rain delay in the middle of the seventh, and conditions and the forecast prevented them from picking the game back up. Rule 5 pick Jason Garcia entered the game in relief of Chen, and gave up the final two runs on the afternoon. Obviously the game was already getting out of control, but the O’s wish he hadn’t tacked on those two. However I would submit that they might consider giving him a bit of a pass on that, as the conditions were far from idea. If you followed my twitter feed during the game you probably saw me questioning the umpiring crew on various occasions as to when the game was going to be called. There comes a point where player safety becomes more important than completing the game or the actual result itself.

Most four-game series’ end in a two-game split. I would submit that the O’s atoned for themselves very well in this series in Boston. And keep in mind that Ubaldo Jimenez was dealing on Friday when he was ejected, so that could have very easily been a win if not for that situation. Incidentally, umpire Jordan Baker (who ejected Jimenez) missed yesterday’s game, along with Sunday’s. The official word from the league was that it was due to “personal reasons.” Interpret as you wish.

The road trip now shifts north of the border as the Orioles play their second series of the year against Toronto. Game one is tonight with Bud Norris on the hill for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Mark Buerhle. Game time is set for just after 7 PM this evening.