Bumbling Boston Red Sox see wild card lead vanish

BALTIMORE — The Red Sox found another way to lose, this time on a broken-bat single and an inside-the-park homer, and their 6-3 defeat against the Orioles on Monday night dropped them into a tie in the AL wild-card race.

Boston's 17th loss in 22 games enabled the Rays to pull even in the duel for the league's final playoff spot. Tampa Bay trailed by nine games after play Sept. 3.

With the score tied at 2 in the sixth inning, Boston starter Josh Beckett allowed four runs in an uprising that began with Vladimir Guerrero becoming the career hits leader among Dominican-born players.

Guerrero broke a tie with Julio Franco by bouncing a single up the middle, his 2,587th career hit. Guerrero, 36, then stole second, and after a two-out walk to Mark Reynolds, Chris Davis broke his bat on a soft liner to right that brought in the go-ahead run.

Robert Andino followed with a deep fly to center that Jacoby Ellsbury had in his glove before he crashed into the wall. Andino sprinted around the bases and made it home as the relay bounced past catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Boston loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but Pedro Strop struck out Saltalamacchia and retired Marco Scutaro on a grounder.

Although Dustin Pedroia hit an RBI single in the ninth, the Red Sox stranded two runners and fell short in their bid to win a second straight game for the first time since Aug. 27. Boston is 6-19 in September, the second-worst record in the majors behind the Twins. It's also Boston's second-worst September ever, with only a 4-18 mark in 1926 surpassing it, according to STATS LLC.

Jed Lowrie homered for the Red Sox, whose September swoon includes four losses in five games against Baltimore.

Orioles 6

Red Sox 3

Bumbling Boston Red Sox see wild card lead vanish 09/27/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 8:38am]

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