BOSTON -- After losing an intense and emotional game on Sunday, the Orioles came back and won an equally intense and emotional game on Monday.
Because Sunday’s game was featured on ESPN, the Orioles had just a few hours of sleep before they had to get ready for Monday’s Patriots’ Day affair.
The Orioles spotted the Boston Red Sox a six-run lead, then held on for a 7-6 win before 37,513 at Fenway Park.
The 11:05 a.m. start was unusual, but it worked as the Orioles earned a split of their four-game series.
Even though the Orioles didn’t want to admit it, the two games in 20 hours was an extreme challenge.
“There were a lot of proud moments,” manager Buck Showalter said.
“I was talking to Jonesy about the seventh inning, and he was gassed, absolutely gassed,” Showalter said.
Adam Jones, who revels in playing tough games, wouldn’t admit to being tired after beating Boston.
“You know that team’s always kicking,” Jones said. “You’re in the East, the best in baseball.”
Tommy Hunter came into the game in the ninth, allowed one run after surviving a bases-loaded, one-out challenge.
“These guys give you a little cushion and the job’s to go in there and close them out in the ninth, and that’s kind of what happened,” Hunter said.
“This is a lot of those same guys from ’12. We won quite a few one-run games, quite a few extra-inning games. This is not a team to ever give up on and especially, considering the circumstances, playing last night, really late and waking up today. I’m on a pretty good team.”
The Orioles had their biggest inning of the season in the third inning. Steve Lombardozzi and David Lough began the inning with singles. Nick Markakis’ single scored Lombardozzi. Lough scored on Nelson Cruz’s RBI single.
Chris Davis’ single scored Markakis. It was the team’s fifth straight single. Cruz scored on Jones’ fielder’s choice. Steve Clevenger doubled to bring in Jones and Jonathan Schoop singled to score Clevenger.
The six runs were scored off Clay Buchholz (0-2), who spent the night at Fenway.
Wei-Yin Chen, who in his last four starts against the Red Sox allowed 40 hits in his last 20 1//3 innings, didn’t allow a hit for the first three innings, and just a single to David Ortiz through four.
Chen (3-1) was lifted after he allowed three runs in the fifth. Xander Bogaerts walked to lead off the fifth. Daniel Nava singled, David Ross hit into a fielder’s choice. Jackie Bradley’s ground-rule doubled scored Bogaerts. Brock Holt’s sacrifice fly brought in Bradley, and Dustin Pedroia’s double scored Bradley and the Orioles lead was 6-3.
In five innings, Chen allowed three runs on four hits, walking two and striking out five.
“It’s very easy to get frustrated with pitchers, but these are the world champions,” Showalter said.
In their most recent five games, the Orioles have had only one starter go more than six innings, and that was Bud Norris on Saturday. After the game, Showalter said the team might be making a move and reports indicate the team will be recalling T.J. McFarland to help in the bullpen.
Ryan Webb struck out the side in the sixth. Zach Britton gave up Ross’ first home run of the year in the seventh, and Boston cut the Orioles’ lead to 6-4.
Ryan Flaherty’s RBI single drove in Clevenger in the eighth to make it 7-4.
Mike Napoli led off the eighth with a long home run to left center off Darren O’Day. O’Day left after he retired Mike Carp on a grounder to short and allowed two singles to Bogaerts and Nava.
Brian Matusz struck out Jonathan Herrera, and Bogaerts was tagged out between second and third for the third out. Nava and Bogaerts were on the move with the pitch, and Nava was already at second.
Hunter worked the ninth, retiring Boston (9-11), but it wasn’t easy. With one out, Holt had an infield single, Pedroia doubled and Ortiz was walked intentionally to load the bases.
Napoli grounded to second, scoring Holt, and Carp grounded to first to end it. Hunter got his fifth save in six chances and the intense four-day weekend was over.
“I was talking to a couple guys in the clubhouse today about yesterday’s game and then to a couple guys today about how intense the game was. It’s emotionally draining, both mentally and physically. It’s a different animal in the AL East than any other place,” Clevenger said.
NOTES: Webb struck out the side for the first time in his career.
-The Orioles begin a three-game series in Toronto on Tuesday night. Miguel Gonzalez (1-1, 6.28) faces R.A. Dickey (1-3, 6.36.)