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Orioles doomed by errors, misplays, infield hits and sloppy play at Fenway Park

Baltimore falls 8-1 following a game decided by bad defense and shaky relief pitching. The O’s stand at 4-2 with another game in Boston Wednesday.    

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Tuesday’s game in Boston marked the start of a nine-game Orioles road trip through Boston, Toronto and Cincinnati. Dylan Bundy took the mound following his stellar 99 pitch, seven inning outing last week against Toronto at Camden Yards, opposed by former San Diego Padres starter Drew Pomeranz, beginning his first full year with the Red Sox.

Scoring started in the bottom of the second inning following a Hanley Ramirez walk, double by Mitch Moreland leaving runners at second and third, and a Pablo Sandoval sacrifice fly to left. The series of events that led to the run was ironic. Two balls hit toward Trey Mancini in left field, making his first ever start there, with this one in front of the Green Monster.

The Red Sox struck again in the fifth with a single by Chris Young, double by Christian Vazquez – off the Green Monster, but well played by Mancini – and a sacrifice fly from Dustin Pedroia. The fifth inning ended with a ground out by Andrew Benintendi to Chris Davis at first base and the Red Sox leading 2-0.

Back to back singles for the O’s started the seventh. After giving up a single to Wellington Castillo, Heath Hembree struck out Trey Mancini looking on a generous call by the home plate umpire, and Chris Davis scored on a ground out to third by Jonathan Schoop plating the first run for the O’s.

With the score 2-1, Darren O’Day relieved Bundy in the seventh, following his disastrous outing last Sunday against the New York Yankees. The trouble continued, but it wasn’t all his fault. JJ Hardy made a very uncharacteristic error on a ground ball that should have been a double play to end the inning.

The next batter, Christian Vazquez in his first at bat ever against O’Day, hit a fly ball that Schoop misplayed, loading the bases. Dustin Pedroia followed with an infield hit off Hardy’s glove netting two runs, making the score 4-1.

Andrew Benintendi singled with a line drive to right, that Craig Gentry promptly threw to no one in the infield, allowing another run to score. Eight Red Sox came to bat in the seventh leaving the score at 5-1.

Oliver Drake came on in the eighth allowing three runs, highlighted by a double from Christian Vazquez and a single from Dustin Pedroia. Vazquez ended the day 3-4 with two RBI and Pedroia was 2-4 with four RBI. The meltdown was notable with three consecutive infield singles and the score standing at 8-1 before the inning mercifully ended.

Bundy Attempted to Keep Rolling

Bundy looked to keep pitching like an ace, relying on his new pitch that is apparently a combination of a cutter and slider. With the name unknown, last week Bundy said the pitch can be called “whatever you want.”

He wasn’t as sharp Tuesday as last week, through the sixth Bundy didn’t have a three up and three down inning, but the damage was minimal with the first two runs allowed coming on sacrifice fly balls and then the innings ending. He started the seventh at 96 pitches and left following a walk to Pablo Sandoval.

Bundy’s final line was 6.1 innings pitched, seven hits, three runs, two walks and three strikeouts. All in all, a good start for the emerging potential ace.

Pomeranz Dominates

Through five innings, Pomeranz was sharp only allowing two hits, no runs, retiring 11 batters in a row, with six strikeouts. In the sixth, Adam Jones hammered a one out double, but was stranded at second after Manny Machado popped out and Mark Trumbo flied to right.

After giving up a single to Chris Davis to lead off the seventh, Pomeranz left with a chance to win giving up four hits, one walk and six strikeouts. He was charged with one run in what ended up a ‘W’ and a very solid outing to begin the season.

Good News: O’s Contained Mookie Betts

In 2016, Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts was the definition of a nemesis to the Orioles. He hit over .400, including nine of his 31 home runs, and tying a MLB record with five home runs over two games.

In the first, Betts bounced into a double play to end the inning and he popped out to Wellington Castillo in the third with a runner in scoring position. Leading off the sixth Betts singled to center but he was eliminated to end the inning as part of a double play off the bat of Mitch Moreland. Batting in the seventh with runners on second and third and only one out, Betts hit into a fielder’s choice.

For one night anyway, the “Mookie Monster” was contained. Interestingly, Betts does have 95 at bats in a row without a strikeout, the longest streak in MLB.

Other News and Looking Ahead

Per Buck Showalter before the game, Chris Tillman threw 30 pitches Tuesday in the bullpen, simulating two innings. He could pitch in a live game next Monday at Bowie, but that’s still TBD.

Ryan Flaherty became the final active Oriole to play in a game this season pinch hitting in the ninth and flying out to CF. Flaherty is likely to start tomorrow, according to Showalter.

Adam Jones extended his hitting streak to six consecutive games with a double in his third at bat. Chris Davis also has a six-game hitting streak, continuing to show improvement hitting the ball to the opposite field.

The Orioles have two starts to begin the season more than six innings, both belonging to Bundy. Tuesday was Bundy’s 16th career start in MLB, following his debut in 2012 against Boston.

Chris Davis was the lone left handed O’s starter against the southpaw Pomeranz. Davis struck out in his first two at bats and singled to left leading off the seventh ending the night for Boston’s lefty.

This was the third consecutive game without a home run for the Orioles after starting the season with long balls in each of their first three games.

Tuesday was part of a stretch that finds the Red Sox playing 30 games in 31 days. Nine of their first 29 games are against the Orioles.

The O’s take the field again on Wednesday at Boston with a 7:10ET start before heading to Toronto for a four game Thursday through Sunday series.