Jim Johnson returns for ninth, no longer save situation (O’s win)

Manager Buck Showalter was going to bring in Koji Uehara to close tonight with the Orioles holding a 3-2 lead. Uehara was warming while the Orioles batted in the bottom of the eighth.

It would have been a debatable move, considering that Jim Johnson got three ground balls in the eighth inning against the top of the Red Sox lineup. Jacoby Ellsbury grounded to second, Dustin Pedroia grounded to first and Adrian Gonzalez grounded to second on an 87 mph changeup.

Johnson only threw 12 pitches. A few folks here in the press box thought he should return for the ninth.

Johnson has allowed runs in four of his last six appearances before tonight, but he’s dealing against the Red Sox.

Well, Derrek Lee hit a two-out, two-run homer off Boston reliever Alfredo Aceves, and Mark Reynolds followed with his 21st homer, expanding the lead to 6-2.

Johnson came back out for the ninth, and Uehara took a seat.

So much for that debate.

Aceves stared at Reynolds the entire trip around the bases. He must have thought Reynolds admired the home run a little too much.

By the way, Kevin Youkilis is leading off the ninth, and he’s 5-for-12 with two doubles, a homer, two RBIs and two walks lifetime against Johnson. He’s 3-for-5 with two doubles, a homer, three RBIs and a walk against Uehara.

He’s no longer the potential tying run.

Update: Johnson retired the side in order again, and the Orioles won for the third time in their last four games.

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