BALTIMORE — Alex Wilson woke up at 6 a.m. Thursday in Providence. Nearly 18 hours later, he was standing on the mound at Camden Yards with the game on the line in the bottom of the 13th inning.
Wilson made the pitch he wanted to Baltimore’s Chris Davis, a fastball inside. Davis didn’t hit the ball well, but well enough to get it over the infield for a single that gave the Orioles a 5-4 victory against the Red Sox.
“Right where nobody could get it,” said third baseman Will Middlebrooks, one of three Sox players who chased the ball in vain. “That’s how it goes sometimes.”
Wilson got two quick outs in the 13th before walking Nick Markakis. Adam Jones then singled to right. Davis cracked his bat when he was jammed but placed the ball perfectly. Wilson had thrown the pitch exactly where he wanted it.
“It comes down to being a competitor and sometimes when you don’t feel like you got beat it’s kind of disappointing obviously,” Wilson said. “He did his job. It worked out well for him. They played a hard game just like we did.”
Wilson has pitched well for the Sox, posting a 2.61 earned run average in 17 appearances. He will probably be sent back to Triple A Pawtucket because the weary Red Sox bullpen will need a fresh arm for Friday. But Wilson earned the right to pitch in other tight situations later this season.
He also won the respect of his teammates. Several approached him in the quiet clubhouse after the game to give words of encouragement.
“I thought he threw the ball outstanding,” manager John Farrell said.
Wilson pitched 2⅔ innings and threw 40 pitches, every one with the result in the balance. This after his flight was delayed four hours, so long that he considered taking a train here.
“It’s been a long day,” he said after a game that lasted 4 hours, 35 minutes.
It’s been a long week for the Red Sox, who beat the Rays in 14 innings on Monday. That game featured a big lead lost, several comebacks and nearly a brawl. It was a much more sedate affair against the Orioles as the teams barely seemed awake as the night dragged on.
The Red Sox scored two runs in the seventh inning to tie the game and didn’t have another hit. The extent of their offense in extra innings came when Jacoby Ellsbury reached on catcher’s interference in the 10th and stole second.
He was stranded when Darren O’Day struck out Shane Victorino.
Ellsbury has stolen at least one base in six consecutive games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last Red Sox player to accomplish that was Hall of Famer Tris Speaker in 1913.
The Sox finished with only nine hits and somehow didn’t draw a walk in 47 plate appearances.
“They threw the ball well,” Farrell said. “We get [Ellsbury] in scoring position and Victorino puts on a good at-bat. They pounded the strike zone and didn’t give us many opportunities.”
The Red Sox are 1-3 against the Orioles this season, the only team against which they have a losing record. Going back to September of 2011, the Sox are 8-22 against Baltimore.
The Orioles moved into second place in the American League East, 2½ games behind the Red Sox. The teams have three games left in the series.
Red Sox starter Felix Doubront allowed four runs, three earned, over 4⅔ innings. He gave up seven hits, walked one and struck out five.
The Orioles scored three runs in the third inning. Danny Valencia, who played 12 forgettable games for the Sox last season, led off with a home run to left field. Flaherty then dropped a double down the line in left.
Nate McLouth sacrificed Flaherty to third. Manny Machado’s single up the middle gave Baltimore a 2-0 lead. Singles by Markakis and Davis scored another run.
Doubront didn’t get through the fourth inning. With one out, Markakis reached on an error by Middlebrooks. Jones was then hit by a pitch.
Doubront struck out Davis for the second out but Matt Wieters singled to give the Orioles a 4-2 lead.
Franklin Morales, Andrew Miller, Junichi Tazawa, Craig Breslow, and Wilson held the Orioles down from there until the final inning.
Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman, a 22-year-old rookie, came into the game with an 8.81 earned run average and 1.76 WHIP in four starts. But he held the Sox to two runs over 5⅓ innings.
Those runs came on back-to-back home runs to center field with two outs in the fourth inning by David Ortiz and Mike Carp, who entered the game in the third inning when Mike Napoli became ill. Ortiz’s ball landed nearly halfway up the bleachers. It was his 14th this season and No. 415 for his career.