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Pedroia clears air after Orioles beat Red Sox 7-1

By David Ginsburg

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 14 2012 9:40 p.m. MDT

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett (19) gets a tap on the back from Aaron Cook after he was pulled against the Baltimore Orioles during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, in Baltimore. The Orioles won 7-1.

Nick Wass, Associated Press

BALTIMORE — Dustin Pedroia hasn't given up Boston's playoff hopes, and he believes none of the team's problems this season should be attributed to first-year manager Bobby Valentine.

Speaking after the Red Sox lost to the Baltimore Orioles 7-1 on Tuesday night, Pedroia addressed a report that he complained about Valentine's performance at a session last month with team owner John Henry and team president Larry Lucchino.

"We had a meeting in New York. I know coaches had a meeting, Bobby had a meeting. We all had a meeting," Pedroia said. "Basically, when I spoke I said we all had to be better. That means owners, Bobby, coaches, especially the players. I have had one problem with Bobby earlier in the year and I went into his office and talked to him like a man and he talked to me like a man. We've been great. We've had a great relationship. ... I'll go out there and play for him any day of the week."

The Red Sox are 57-60 after going 92-60 last year under Terry Francona, who was fired after Boston missed the playoffs with a loss to Baltimore on the final day of the regular season.

"I don't think Bobby should be fired," Pedroia said. "Listen, we haven't played well and I am not going to blame anything on Bobby and I don't think anybody else is. It's on the players, man. Last year wasn't on Tito. I know he took it hard. We all did."

Boston is closer to last place than third in the AL East, but Pedroia isn't giving up.

"We've dug ourselves this hole and we have to try to dig ourselves out of it," he said.

Mark Reynolds homered twice and drove in four runs for the Orioles, and Omar Quintanilla also went deep to help Baltimore improve to 7-3 against Boston this season.

Wei-Yin Chen (11-7) gave up one run, nine hits and a walk in six-plus innings for the Orioles, who moved 10 games over .500 (63-53) for the first time since June 24. Chen allowed at least one hit in each inning but was effective in minimizing the damage.

Josh Beckett (5-10) surrendered six runs and six hits, including two home runs, in 5 1-3 innings. It's been a nightmare season for the right-hander, who is 1-6 in 12 starts since May 20. In his past two outings against Texas and Baltimore, Beckett has yielded a combined 14 runs and five homers in 10 1-3 innings.

Reynolds hit a solo shot off Beckett in the fifth and greeted Mark Melancon with a three-run drive in the sixth. After totaling 113 homers over the three previous seasons, Reynolds has only 11 this year. It was his first multihomer game since last Sept. 21, when he connected twice against Beckett.

Playing in his fifth major league game, Baltimore's Manny Machado was held hitless for the first time. But he made two fine plays at third base, where he has yet to commit an error.

Boston stranded 12 and went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position, a shortcoming fueled by cleanup hitter Adrian Gonzalez. He made the final out in the first, third and fifth innings, stranding a runner on second or third each time, and finished 0 for 4 with a walk.

Quintanilla hit Beckett's first pitch of the third inning over the right-field wall to put the Orioles up 1-0. He has four homers this season (including one with the Mets), after hitting only two in 227 games before this year.

Boston used a double by Cody Ross and an RBI single by Carl Crawford to pull even in the fourth.

Pedroia tripled with two outs in the fifth before Gonzalez grounded out. In the bottom half, Reynolds hit an opposite-field drive over the right-field wall to put Baltimore back on top.

Reynolds' homer, on Melancon's first pitch, capped a five-run sixth.

The loss dropped the Red Sox to 57-60. Boston lost its 60th game last year on Sept. 10, following 85 wins.

NOTES: A moment of silence was observed before the game for former Boston star Johnny Pesky, who died Monday. ... The Orioles placed LHP Troy Patton (ankle) on the 15-day DL and recalled RHP Steve Johnson from Triple-A Norfolk. ... The Red Sox activated RHP Andrew Bailey (thumb) from the 60-day DL. He got the last out in the eighth. ... Boston traded C Kelly Shoppach to the Mets following a waiver claim. Ryan Lavarnway started behind the plate for Boston and went 1 for 4. ... Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury singled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak against Baltimore to 37 straight games, the longest by a Red Sox player against one team. ... Beckett has a strikeout in each of his 299 major league games, the second-longest streak to begin a career since 1900 behind Dwight Gooden (349). ... Rookie Miguel Gonzalez starts for the Orioles on Wednesday night against Boston's Aaron Cook, who makes his first career appearance at Camden Yards.

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