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John Farrell made a decision. Wade Miley didn't like it.
The argument that ensued added a healthy measure of intrigue to Boston's latest loss.
Miley gave up three solo home runs before being pulled, and the last-place Red Sox lost to the Baltimore Orioles 6-5 Thursday night.
Miley (5-6) allowed five runs and nine hits over four innings. After finishing the fourth, the left-hander engaged in a heated exchange with Farrell in the dugout after being told he was being removed from the game.
Still screaming, Miley walked into the tunnel with the manager in pursuit.
"You work four days for your start - he didn't want to come out of the game. That's his competitive spirit coming through," Farrell said. "I fully respect that. I thought he had good stuff overall, but where we were in the game I thought we needed a change in contrast, change of style, so we made a move."
Miley said: "When you pitch every five days, you get an opportunity (and) you want it to last as long as possible. It stings a little bit, but that's part of the game."
Asked if the two had settled their differences, Miley said, "We're all men in here. I'm competing on my end, he's competing on his end. It's over."
David Ortiz hit his seventh home run and Pablo Sandoval had two RBIs for Boston, which lost twice by one run in Baltimore's three-game sweep. The defeat dropped the Red Sox a season-high seven games under .500 (27-34) for the third time.
Although the eighth-inning solo shot by Ortiz went for naught, it ended his run of 69 at-bats without a home run.
Adam Jones, Nolan Reimold and Manny Machado all connected off Miley, who left with Boston trailing 5-3.
"The pitch I needed to make in certain counts I just wasn't executing," the lefty said. "It was mistakes."
Chris Tillman (4-7) gave up four runs in 5 2-3 innings to improve his career record against the Red Sox to 9-3.
"It could have been better. It could have been worse," the right-hander said of his performance.
After Chaz Roe yielded the homer to Ortiz that made it 6-5, Zach Britton worked the ninth for his 17th save.
Baltimore was celebrating the victory when a replay overturned the apparent third out on a close play at first base. Undaunted, Britton struck out Dustin Pedroia to end it.
The Orioles executed several defensive gems on Wednesday night and continued the trend in the first inning of this one. Reimold chased down a liner to make a running catch near the left-field wall, and Machado snared a sharp grounder to third before making the throw from the outfield grass.
Jones hit his 10th home run in the bottom half, and Steve Pearce added an RBI single in the Baltimore second.
Reimold led off the third with his first homer since last August. Jones followed with a double and Delmon Young singled past the drawn-up infield for a 4-0 lead.
Tillman retired the first nine Boston batters before the Red Sox loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth. After Mike Napoli delivered a sacrifice fly, Sandoval doubled in two runs.
Machado connected in the bottom half to make it 5-3.
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