BOSTON – It looked lost for the Orioles.
After three frustrating defeats, they were seemingly on their way to a fourth straight. Suddenly, it was 2012 again.
One of the heroes of late last season, Manny Machado hit a three-run home run, breaking a 1-for-18 slump, and presto, the Orioles were back in business.
Back at .500, and the frustrated fans were silenced for at least a day as the Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox 8-5 before 30,862 at Fenway Park.
“We were really never ahead the whole game and to come out with the victory it is really going to give us the big boost we needed to get this show going,” Machado said.
In the ninth, the Orioles scored on a leadoff home run by Chris Davis, a wild pitch by Boston reliever Joel Hanrahan and the big home run by Machado.
Lots of attention has been paid to the contrast with last season. The Orioles’ four defeats have been by a total of just five runs. Pardon manager Buck Showalter if he doesn’t get excited about the win or the one or two-run losses.
"Nobody in the clubhouse pays attention. An L is an L and a W is a W. You win by three, one, you lose by one, it's as good as 100. It's something people will talk about and I understand it makes for good fodder, but nobody pays attention to it," Showalter said.
Darren O’Day (1-0) was the winner. Jim Johnson pitched the ninth for his third save.
With the Orioles (4-4) trailing 5-3, Davis homered to center leading off against Hanrahan (0-1). With two outs, Ryan Flaherty singled, his first hit after beginning the season 0-for-17. Pinch-runner Alexi Casilla stole second. Nolan Reimold walked and was removed for pinch-runner Chris Dickerson.
Nate McLouth walked, and on the first pitch to Machado, Hanrahan threw a wild pitch to score Casilla with the tying run. Machado homered to left, and the Orioles had the 8-5 lead.
Flaherty had nine strikeouts in his first 17 at-bats.
“I got up there and tried to be aggressive right away. I swung at ball one, and tried to get on base. Personally, obviously no one wants to start a season like I did offensively,” Flaherty said.
The other big news in Boston was that the Fenway sellout streak, which reached 794 games and nearly a decade ended.
In the first, the Orioles scored a run without a hit. McLouth walked, moved to third when Boston right fielder Shane Victorino and centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury converged, and Ellsbury was charged with a two-base error on a fly ball by Machado. Nick Markakis’ grounder to first scored McLouth.
The Red Sox (5-3) tied it in the bottom of the second against Jake Arrieta when Daniel Nava walked with two outs and scored on Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s double.
In the third, Arrieta walked Jackie Bradley, Jr. to lead off. Ellsbury laced a ball to left that McLouth dove for but missed. Bradley scored on Ellsbury’s triple. After Victorino flied to left, Ellsbury scored, and Boston led 3-1.
In the fourth, Markakis led off with his first home run of the year. Adam Jones singled and moved to second on a wild pitch by Ryan Dempster. With one out, Matt Wieters singled to left, and Jones scored when Bradley couldn’t handle the ball for an error.
Rain began falling at the beginning of the game, and it intensified so much by the fifth inning that play was halted for 43 minutes after five.
Arrieta was removed after the rain delay. He allowed three runs and three hits in five innings. He walked four and struck out two.
By the ninth inning, he was in the warm clubhouse, watching the rally.
"We were freaking out pretty good,” Arrieta said.
“They're all big, especially second game in Fenway of the season. Fans are pumped up, team's pumped up. To get to their closer like that in the ninth is big."
Tommy Hunter relieved Arrieta and struck out his first two batters before allowing back-to-back home runs to Nava and Saltalamacchia. After the home runs, Orioles relievers retired the final 10 Boston batters.
NOTES: Jones has hit in each of the Orioles’ eight games this season.
-Reimold was 0-for-3 as the designated hitter. Orioles’ DHs are a collective 1-for-26.
-The Red Sox hadn’t made an error in the first seven games. They made two in the first four innings.
-Cuban defector Henry Urrutia has received legal clearance to play for an affiliate. He has been in extended spring training in Sarasota, Fla.
-Chris Tillman (0-0, 12.27) is scheduled to pitch for the Orioles on Thursday against Alfredo Aceves (0-0, 10.38).