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Hess struggles in 6-4 loss to Red Sox

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David Hess had his streak of three consecutive quality starts ended, and the Orioles’ offense was unable to keep up with Boston yet again.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

David Hess’ bad luck against the Red Sox continued on Tuesday night at Camden Yards. It was the shortest outing of his short career, lasting only 3.1 innings. Command was an issue all night as Hess was missing his spots, especially high, while allowing a substantial number of fly balls and line drives.

Hess threw 73 pitches, including 39 strikes, and he got eight fly ball outs versus zero ground ball outs. He allowed five runs to cross the plate on five hits, coupled with two strikeouts and a career high four walks.

In five career starts, 13 of 15 runs scored against Hess have been by way of the home run. He has allowed eight home runs total and two homers tonight were responsible for three of his earned runs. At the start of the night, Hess had a 3.07 ERA. By the time he walked off the mound in the fourth, his ERA had risen to 4.13.

It was a rare night for the Orioles in the sense that they actually scored in the first inning. Joey Rickard led off the O’s half of the first by catapulting a 2-2 fastball into the seats in left field. The Orioles’ 1-0 lead would be short-lived.

After a scoreless first inning by Hess, Xander Bogaerts walked to start the second and Rafael Devers drove him home with a two run blast to right field. And just like that Boston had a 2-1 lead. Hess went on to retire the next three batters in a row on fly balls, but that would not be the end of the scoring for the Red Sox.

In the top of the third, with one out, Andrew Benintendi torched a solo home run to straight away center field, extending Boston’s lead to three runs. Hess would go on to allow two more baserunners in the inning on a hit-by-pitch and a walk, but he stranded those two runners on first and third.

Joey Rickard led off the O’s half of the third inning with a walk and advanced to second on Adam Jones’ ground ball. He would come around to score on Danny Valencia’s two out single to center field, and the Red Sox lead was cut to one. 3-2, Boston.

In the top of the fourth, Hess walked in a run with the bases loaded and one out. That would be his last batter of the night, as Buck popped out of the dugout to call in relief from the bullpen. Miguel Castro entered the game and promptly committed a balk, sending another run home that would ultimately be charged to Hess (his fifth of the night). Boston’s lead was extended to 5-2.

After Castro walked Martinez to re-load the bases, the inning ended with a 3-2 double play. Trey Mancini fielded a ground ball near the line, tagged first base and fired home, where Austin Wynns tagged out the runner trying to score.

In the fifth inning, with Castro still pitching, the Red Sox manufactured yet another run. Bogaerts led off with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch with one out, and scored on a sinlge down the left field line by catcher Christian Vazquez. 6-2, Red Sox.

On this particular night, Eduardo Rodriguez was methodical, but effective for the Red Sox. He lasted 5.2 innings, allowing eight hits, two runs, two walks, four strikeouts and one home run. He threw 109 pitches, including 67 strikes.

Zach Britton made his long-awaited season debut in the seventh inning, and it was a tight rope act. He walked Mitch Moreland, who was later eliminated at second base on a throw by Austin Wynns following a wild pitch. Britton proceeded to walk the second batter he faced, Xander Bogaerts, then he struck out Devers and walked Brock Holt. With two on and two outs, Britton induced a ground ball to third and the inning was over. No harm, no foul. Still 6-2, Red Sox.

Britton’s final pitching line for the night: one inning, zero hits, zero runs, three walks, one strikeout and 26 total pitches, including 11 for strikes.

Facing Hector Velazquez, Adam Jones reached first with one out in the seventh after poking a ground ball off the third base bag. Manny Machado followed with a single to right, and the Orioles had the early makings of a rally. Danny Valencia worked the count full before walking to load the bases for Trey Mancini, who struck out on a 92 mph fastball up in the zone. Jonathan Schoop then hit a weak grounder to pitcher Joe Kelly, who threw home for the force and ended the Orioles threat.

The Orioles had their fair share of opportunities on offense, and they actually out-hit the Red Sox, 11-9. Baltimore left two runners on base in the second, one in the third, two in the fourth, one in the fifth, one in the sixth, three in the seventh, two in the eighth and one in the ninth, for a total of 13 left on base. As a team, the Orioles were 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

The Orioles came within two runs of the Red Sox in the ninth inning against closer Craig Kimbrel. Mark Trumbo drove Valencia and Jones home with a two-out, two-run double down the right field line. 6-4, Orioles. Then pinch hitter Pedro Alvarez struck out on a pitch in the dirt, and the game was over.

The Orioles will look to get their offense and pitching clicking on all cylinders tomorrow in the mid-afternoon series finale against the Red Sox. Their losing streak has reached six consecutive games, and according to MLB.com, the Orioles will look to youngster Yefry Ramirez to play stopper against Rex Sox ace Chris Sale at 3:05 PM ET.