BOSTON - Tonight’s game between the Orioles and Red Sox ended with a walk-off error and manager Buck Showalter huddled with the umpires in front of his dugout.
Confusion and craziness were the key ingredients in the Orioles’ 6-5 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
David Lough caught pinch-hitter Mike Carp’s sinking liner in left field and made a wide throw to the plate that allowed Dustin Pedroia to score.
Showalter immediately came onto the field and players hesitated before walking to the clubhouse. Showalter wanted to check whether Pedroia tagged up properly and if the other two runners also had tagged.
“It’s a timing play though on the trailers, so no shot there,” Showalter said. “Plus you can’t appeal a tag. Go figure. They’ve got some really strange rules. That will change, too, going forward.”
“You’d have to ask Jonathan, but there’s a lot of things going on. I’m not so sure it wasn’t cuttable,” Showalter said.
“His first move is probably back to the bag to think there’s going to be a throw there. You have to ask him what’s going through his head there. We just made a poor throw. Had nothing to do with Jonathan.”
“I should have caught the throw,” Schoop said. “When the line drive went, I went to the base. As soon as he hit it, everybody was thinking it was a hit, and then I ran to the base because I thought maybe we could catch him (off the bag) and get a double play there. And when he made the catch, I saw Pedroia make the tag. I wasn’t able to react to the cutoff.”
Schoop wouldn’t use his inexperience at third as an excuse.
“I wouldn’t blame it on that,” he said. “I should have known.”
The Orioles committed a season-high three errors, beginning with Ryan Flaherty’s miscue on the controversial transfer rule that’s about to go the way of the dodo bird.
Showalter said trying to challenge that call is “a waste of time.”
“That hasn’t been overturned all year,” he said. “I’ve got a young pitcher (Zach Britton) out there, a cold pitcher. It’s 40 degrees. They would look at it for about 30 seconds. That’s the good news. They haven’t overturned one of those all year. Wasn’t even worth challenging. Maybe in two weeks it will be. Which is what I’m hearing.”
Flaherty took full responsibility, saying, “I dropped the ball. I didn’t turn the double play like I should have.
“We didn’t make plays on defense like we should have. That’s what happens when you give a good team extra outs.
“You give a good team extra outs, they’ll make you pay, and that’s what they did to us.”
Hardy injured his hamstring on Lough’s ground rule double in the fifth.
“Tweaked his hamstring. We hope that’s what it was,” Showalter said. “Forty degrees. It started moving up a little higher, I didn’t like the way he was describing it. He’s never had one before, so you don’t really have anything to base it on. Certainly not going to take a chance in the middle of April whatever it is. Not going to jeopardize that with an 11 o’clock game tomorrow.
“Even if we wanted to, because of the Red Sox start time, we couldn’t get anybody here if we wanted to. Same thing with the start time.”
Ubaldo Jimenez showed some improvement tonight, taking a shutout into the sixth before surrendering a three-run homer to Jonny Gomes on a hanging slider.
“Good. Really good,” Showalter said. “I thought he was sharp. Fastball was crisper. Had command. But not a whole lot different than his first outings, although I thought his tempo and fastball were a little better.
“He was good. Gave us a chance to win. Probably one pitch he’d take back.”
Said Jimenez: “I thought I was able to take what I was working in the bullpen this week and took it in the game. I felt my mechanics were working. I was able to throw a fastball a lot, locating the fastball and the breaking ball for a strike, too.”
It’s a start that Jimenez hopes he can build upon and continue to lower his ERA.
“Definitely,” he said. “I felt really good because I was able to take everything I was working on in the bullpen, be more aggressive in my mechanics and throwing directly to home plate into the game.”
A game that didn’t end on a positive note for the Orioles, who couldn’t hold a five-run lead.
“That’s part of baseball,” Jimenez said. “That’s why it’s so tough and sometime you feel you have the game in your hand and then everything disappears.”