BOSTON - Kevin Gregg was forced to go two innings today, and he shut out the Red Sox on one hit. He also struck out four batters.
Don’t look now, but Gregg hasn’t allowed a run in his last four appearances covering five innings. He’s permitted two hits, walked two and struck out six.
In his last three appearances covering four innings, he’s allowed one hit, walked none and struck out six.
Gregg’s ERA is down to 5.19.
Gregg pitched two innings only one other time this season, when he served up Nick Swisher’s home run on April 11 at Camden Yards. Will Middlebrooks singled off him with two outs in the 11th today, and it should have been a double. Middlebrooks thought the ball was hooking foul and stopped halfway up the first base line.
Matt Lindstrom is warming and will pitch the bottom of the 12th, leaving Jim Johnson as the only available reliever.
The bullpen might need a fresh arm for the Rangers series that starts tomorrow night.
J.J. Hardy tied his career high with his fourth hit leading off the top of the 12th, before Nick Markakis grounded into a double play. He’s done it 10 times in his career, most recently Aug. 10, 2011 against the White Sox.
The Orioles have put the leadoff hitter on base in each of the last three innings without scoring - and without moving him up to second base.
Update: We’re headed to the top of the 15th still tied, 6-6. Jim Johnson stranded Ryan Sweeney in the 14th, running his scoreless-innings streak for the season to 11 2/3 innings.
Johnson is the last reliever. I don’t know whether manager Buck Showalter will use a position player (Luis Exposito?) or send in Brian Matusz, who’s supposed to start tomorrow. The off day on Thursday gave Matusz ample rest.
The longest game in Orioles’ history by time lasted 6 hours, 15 minutes on July 2, 2004 in Philadelphia. They won that game, 7-6.
The Orioles have struck out 15 times and hit into five double plays today.
Chris Davis is the first player in baseball history to strike out five times and hit into a double play in six at-bats.