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September 19. 2013 12:15AM

Sox lose to O's in 12th, but still inch closer to playoff berth

BOSTON -- Chris Davis bounced a two-run single up the middle in the 12th as visiting Baltimore edged Boston for the second straight night, 5-3, on Wednesday.

The Orioles loaded the bases on a pair of singles and an intentional walk in front of Davis, who got just enough of a ground ball up the middle off Franklin Morales (2-2) to sneak it past Dustin Pedroia's dive and into center.

T.J. McFarland (2-1) picked up the win in relief and Jim Johnson worked the 12th for his 47th save for Baltimore, which pulled within 1 1/2 games of the second wild card in the American League.

David Ortiz and Mike Napoli each homered for the Red Sox, who managed just three runs on 15 hits.

Boston's lead in the AL East dropped to 8 1/2 games over the Tampa Bay Rays, but its magic number to clinch a playoff berth fell to one with Cleveland's loss earlier in the night.

Ortiz gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a massive home run to right but the team squandered a chance to put the game away when it could not get a run home with the bases loaded and no outs in the third.

Jake Peavy did not surrender a hit through the first four innings before Danny Valencia reached on a single to open the fifth and RBI doubles from Matt Wieters and Brian Roberts tied the game.

Wieters put Baltimore on top 3-2 with an RBI ground-rule double in the sixth but Napoli led off the bottom of that frame with a blast to center to knot it up again.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Peavy struck out eight and was charged with three runs on six hits in seven innings. Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen scattered three runs and 11 hits over 5 2/3 frames. ... Baltimore RHP Kevin Gausman struck out five of the six batters he faced in two perfect innings and owns 24 strikeouts in 20 innings as a reliever. ... Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks (flu) was back in the lineup for the first time since Saturday and went 3-for-4.


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