Red Sox take two of three from the Orioles; Johnson homers twice, Arrieta loses

This afternoon, the Orioles lost to the Boston Red Sox, 6-5. They could not get the series win, and are 28-17 on the season.

Jake Arrieta pitched well; however, he once again suffered with inconsistency on the afternoon. Despite only being at .500 – with a record at 22-22 – the Red Sox are still formidable and have a tough lineup with a mixture of veterans and youngsters. The Orioles saw that today.

Arrieta lasted 5 2/3 innings, and gave up four runs. He gave up runs in the second along with the third inning and seemed to be settled down – this is, until the sixth inning.

His day quickly came to end as he gave up a homer to Daniel Nava (his second of the year) and then allowed Scott Podsednik to reach base.  Luis Ayala came into the game in relief of Arrieta, and not too long after in the frame gave up a two-run homer to allowed Kelly Shoppach.

Nick Johnson – who has started to come around – had a great game, as his homered twice and now has four homers on the season.

Baltimore scored their runs in the first inning off a Chris Davis sacrifice fly, and in the second off Nick Johnson’s homer.

The Orioles came within one of the lead, 5-4, in the sixth inning as Johnson went deep again – a two-run shot – off of Red Sox reliever Andrew Miller.

Boston added another run in the eighth as Scott Podsednik homered off Baltimore reliever Darren O’Day – who had been nothing short of excellent this season. However, the Orioles got a run in the bottom of the inning off a Betemit sacrifice fly that could have dropped in for a hit – if not for the effort of Che-Hsuan Lin in center field who laid out for a great catch. The Orioles had a chance to do more in the frame with two men and two outs; however, they could not do anymore.

For Baltimore, Adam Jones and Xavier Avery each had two hits. Jones’ hit streak is now at 15 games.

Boston’s Daniel Bard earned the victory. He went 5 1/3 innings and gave up two runs. Alfredo Aceves was lights-out in the ninth inning and earned the save.

For everything that has happened this season so far, you’ve got to appreciate the job that Xavier Avery has done with the Orioles. When he first came up, there were some questions as to whether he could handle big-league pitching and be an everyday player.

So far, Avery is proving the doubters wrong as he has been a sparkplug in the Orioles lineup.

He’s played respectably so far and certainly has filled in the left-field spot quite nicely. In addition, Avery is a legitimate leadoff hitter – something the Orioles have missed since Brian Roberts went down with injury last year.

Avery has only been in the league for the better part of week; however, he’s already made an impact in Baltimore. It remains to be seen whether Avery stays on the big leagues a week or a long while; however, with the way he has been in his short time in Baltimore, he’s definitely got a bright future.