The decision (updated)

The Orioles put two runners on base against Jon Lester in the bottom of the seventh inning. Once again, it was Adam Jones and Garrett Atkins. Once again, it meant Julio Lugo and Cesar Izturis were due up.

In the fifth, Lugo laid down a sacrifice bunt, but Izturis popped up and Corey Patterson grounded out. This time, Jones and Atkins walked with one out.

We debated whether Luke Scott should pinch-hit for Lugo. It's lefty vs. lefty and Scott is 0-for-8 lifetime against Lester, but he also can put three runs on the board with one swing.

Lester was tiring. He had thrown 99 pitches. He appeared to be vulnerable.

Interim manager Juan Samuel stayed with Lugo - he also passed up the chance to bat Lou Montanez - and Lester issued his third straight walk. Red Sox manager Terry Francona had seen enough and summoned right-hander Daniel Bard with the bases loaded.

Having Scott available seemed to pay off because Samuel could send him up to pinch-hit for Izturis. However, Scott fell behind 1-2 and flied to shallow center, with the runners holding, and Patterson popped to third.

That's two wasted opportunities over the last three innings.

Instant update: You just knew the Orioles would pay. Josh Reddick tripled to open the eighth and scored with one out on Marco Scutaro's bouncing single into left field. Now Guthrie has left the game with the Red Sox ahead, 2-0.

Jake Arrieta has allowed one run and three hits in 1 1/3 innings. He's also struck out two.

I like him better as a starter.


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