|Felix Doubront sunk the Red Sox on Sunday in the regular-season|
finale held at Camden Yards, allowing five runs in 1.1 innings of
relief as Boston fell to Baltimore 7-6. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jan-Christian Sorensen Contributing Writer
Boston fell to Baltimore 7-6 Sunday to close the curtain on the 2013 regular season, but the Sox can take this loss in stride.
While the Orioles hit the showers and then started booking tee times and vacation villas, the American League East Division champion Red Sox began making preparations for the AL Division Series, which begins Friday night at Fenway against the eventual AL wild card entrant.
It isn’t clear yet which team will claim that wild card slot, however. Tampa Bay and Texas will face off at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington Monday in a one-game tiebreaker after both teams finished with 91-71 records. The winner of that do-or-die affair will then travel to Cleveland on Wednesday to play the Indians for the rights to the one AL wild card berth.
The Red Sox end up finishing their worst-to-first turnaround season at 97-65, tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the best record in baseball.
John Lackey was originally penciled in as the starter for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the O’s but was pulled by manager John Farrell to give the righthander extra rest before he’s called on in the postseason.
Instead, Allen Webster got the nod and held the Orioles hitless while striking out a pair and walking three over three innings.
The Boston bats got the Sox off to a quick 5-0 lead after four innings, but recent bullpen addition Felix Doubront opened the cage door and allowed the Birds right back into the game. The Venezuelan lefty didn’t win any hearts and minds — or votes of confidence for him to be named to the ALDS roster — with his performance, giving up five runs on five hits and walking three in just an inning and a third of relief. Rubby De La Rosa (0-2, 5.56) was charged with the loss after working two-thirds of an inning in relief.
Jacoby Ellsbury hit his 10th career leadoff homer in the first, and Iron Man Dustin Pedroia missed only his second game all season as he gets some rest before the playoffs. Also out of the lineup were regulars Daniel Nava, Shane Victorino and Stephen Drew.
With the victory, Baltimore claims the season series with the Sox for the second-straight year, winning the 2013 edition 11-8.
Here are the four at-bats that changed the game:
1) Beisbol Been Berry Berry Good To Him: Red Sox speedster Quintin Berry showed he had some finesse at the plate as well as on the basepaths in the second inning when he stroked a line-drive homer to right to cash in two runs and give the Red Sox a 4-0 lead.
2) A Hardy Meal: In the fifth, J.J. Hardy rapped a ground-rule double to right center off Felix Doubront that scored a pair and brought the Orioles within three runs.
3) Boston Bears the Dou-Brunt: Two batters later and with the Red Sox now holding on to a 5-3 lead, Doubront gave up a double to Nate McLouth that scored two more runs and tied up the game.
4) Dempster Diving: In the sixth, Ryan Dempster served up a double to Ryan Flaherty that scored Brian Roberts and gave Baltimore a 7-5 lead.
Boston now sits back and waits to see which of the three remaining AL teams will emerge as its opponent in the ALDS, which gets underway Friday at the Fens.
Twitter: @jan_doh Jan-Christian Sorensen 9/29/2013 09:15:00 PM Tweet