Wild finish spoils Barnes' chance at first MLB win
Rookie tosses two scoreless innings of relief before O's rally to beat Red Sox
BALTIMORE -- Matt Barnes found out at about 1 p.m. Saturday that the Red Sox had called him up, and his presence was required in Baltimore immediately. The Pawtucket pitcher made the drive from Scranton, Pa., and arrived about two hours before the game.
Barnes contributed immediately, giving the Red Sox two shutout innings of relief and was in line for his first Major League win before a crazy 10th inning took it away from him. Xander Bogaerts gave the Red Sox the lead with a solo homer in the top of the inning before the Orioles rallied with two in the bottom half off closer Koji Uehara in a 5-4 loss for Boston at Camden Yards.
The right-hander was scheduled to start in Pawtucket's doubleheader, but instead wound up coming to Baltimore. He worked his way in and out of trouble in the eighth inning before breezing through the ninth.
"It was a crazy day," Barnes said. "It's not how I envisioned [the day] when I woke up this morning, but I'm happy to be here … trying to do what I can to help the ball club win."
He would have earned Major League win No. 1 if the baseball gods hadn't changed things up a bit. Bogaerts crushed Brad Brach's first pitch for a home run in the top of the 10th and a 4-3 lead. Manager John Farrell then turned to Uehara, who immediately found trouble.
Adam Jones led off for the Orioles and sent a sinking line drive to right. Allen Craig raced in and tried to make a diving catch but lost the ball in the lights and it skipped past him. That let Jones get all the way to third with a triple.
"I was pretty committed to it," Craig said. "I thought I had a good beat on it and was looking to make the diving play and just kind of lost track of it there. I'm going to stay aggressive. I dove and it got past me."
Chris Davis then tied it with a sacrifice fly to left before David Lough belted a game-winning solo homer to right for the stunning walk-off win.
Uehara got the save Friday night, but had to escape a ninth-inning jam there. This time, he couldn't make it work. Farrell said Uehara is still working his way back and left a pitch out over the plate that Lough could drive.
"He probably doesn't have the finish to his fastballs [that] we've seen," Farrell said.
So Barnes goes from getting ready to pitch a Triple-A game to making a long drive to Baltimore, getting in the game and nearly winning it before everything turns around.
"Strange, you see it all the time in baseball," Lough said. "You've just got to keep plugging away.
Barnes appeared in five games for the Red Sox last season, allowing four runs over nine innings of relief with eight strikeouts.