Manager Buck Showalter can count the number of times that Adam Jones has been hit by a pitch this season. He probably can name each body part that’s been bruised.
Now it’s Showalter’s face that’s turning purple.
Showalter didn’t hide his displeasure with the Red Sox as he walked toward first base to check on Jones, who was drilled in the backside by a Clay Buchholz fastball in the third inning. He glared at them to such a degree, I’m pretty sure he melted the railing in front of their dugout.
Jones has been hit 11 times this season, one fewer than league-leaders Prince Fielder and Josh Willingham. Pitchers aren’t afraid to go inside and Jones isn’t afraid to lunge. It’s a lethal combination.
The timing of this one was dubious, to say the least, and Showalter obviously felt that it was intentional.
You’ll recall that Jones lowered a shoulder and plowed into catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia at home plate last night during the Orioles’ five-run sixth inning. Then he had the audacity to line a two-run double down the right field line tonight, giving the Orioles a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Maybe tonight’s shot to the derriere came on a pitch that simply got away from Buchholz.
Showalter would like a minute for rebuttal - when he’s done shooting daggers with his eyes.
A MASN cameraman caught Jones offering a few choice words for Buchholz after Matt Wieters grounded into a double play to end the inning. Probably not the words Buchholz would have chosen.
Update: Chris Tillman couldn’t get through five innings and couldn’t hold the lead. He’s charged with three runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings, with two walks, five strikeouts and two wild pitches. He threw 110 pitches, 64 for strikes.
Yes, command was an issue.
Boston scored twice in the fifth to tie the game, 3-3. One run scored on a wild pitch, the other on Adrian Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly.
Dustin Pedroia slid around Wieters’ sweeping tag after Jones unleashed a throw to the first base side of the plate.
In his last two starts, Tillman has allowed nine runs and 12 hits in 10 1/3 innings.
Update II: The Red Sox scored three runs off Luis Ayala in the top of the sixth inning to take a 6-3 lead.
All three runs scored with two outs, and the tie-breaker came when Manny Machado couldn’t field Dustin Pedroia’s slow bouncer to third.
Ayala had posted a 1.76 ERA in his last 13 games dating back to July 15.
Update III: Steve Johnson, listed as Saturday’s starter, retired the side in order in the eighth on 13 pitches. He struck out two batters.
I’m not sure why he’s being used in this situation. He threw in the bullpen following last night’s game and is pitching tonight. Doesn’t look like a guy who’s going to make his second major league start this weekend.
Update IV: The Orioles did all of their scoring in the first two innings and lost 6-3.
Johnson allowed one hit and struck out four in two innings. He threw 28 pitches, 20 for strikes.
Perhaps Showalter will reveal Saturday’s starter after tonight’s game. It’s more likely that we’ll have to wait.
One of the biggest plays of the game occurred in the second inning when Nick Markakis bunted into a double play. It looms large.