The Orioles' defense came apart in the 13th inning, and the Red Sox took full advantage, scoring three runs that were made possible by two crucial errors. Melvin Mora fielded Manny Ramirez's grounder and threw the ball over first baseman Kevin Millar's head. Ramirez advanced to second, and he scored the go-ahead run on Mike Lowell's single off Chad Bradford. Then it got worse for the Orioles. Freddie Bynum let two more runs score when his throw went wide of Millar. When the top of the inning ended, the Orioles were down 5-2 and were pretty much out of the game.
What had all the makings of a brief and disappointing start for Daniel Cabrera morphed into a quality outing. He made it through seven innings, held the Red Sox to two runs and six hits, and left with the score tied. Cabrera didn't allow a run after the first inning, when the Red Sox received an RBI single from David Ortiz and a sacrifice fly from Lowell. Cabrera also issued a walk and hit a batter in the second, but he slithered out of the jam. With Cabrera's pitch count at 113, manager Dave Trembley brought in Jim Johnson for the eighth.
Josh Beckett struck out the first two batters he faced in the sixth. Then he walked the next three. Could there be a more telling sign that he was tiring, or somebody needed to nail down home plate and keep it from moving on him? The score was tied, 2-2, the bases were loaded and Beckett's pitch count stood at 109. He faced one more batter and recorded his 10th strikeout by blowing a 95 mph fastball past Adam Jones on a 2-2 count. Left-hander Hideki Okajima came out of the bullpen to pitch the seventh.
The four-game series continues tonight (7:05), with left-hander Garrett Olson opposing Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester, who tossed a no-hitter against the Kansas City Royals on May 19. Olson rebounded from a rough outing in New York to shut out the Yankees on three hits over seven innings Monday night. He is 0-2 with a 7.63 ERA in three career appearances against the Red Sox. Lester is 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four career starts against the Orioles. He didn't get a decision May 14 after allowing two runs and five hits over six innings in the Orioles' 6-3 victory.