A poor showing from the offense and a rough day at the hot corner for Ramón Urías halted the Orioles’ win streak in a rain-soaked 7-3 loss to the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park.
Early on, the Orioles appeared to be on pace to match their offensive output from Saturday night, scoring three times in the second inning. It was the result of four singles in the span of five batters. Ryan O’Hearn was followed by Cedric Mullins and then by an RBI from Aaron Hicks and finally Adam Frazier, who saw his base hit into the right field corner get kicked around by Alex Verdugo to bring in the final two runs of the frame.
Boston’s best starter this season, Brayan Bello, was working hard. It seemed only a matter of time before he was lifted and the O’s were en route to another sweep.
But that wasn’t to be. Bello would face just one above the minimum from the third through the fifth innings. He did give up three hits in that span, but was helped by a double play and a lucky/impressive play from Rafael Devers on a flare single into shallow left field to nab Frazier trying to stretch it into a double.
That gave the Red Sox lineup a chance to catch up and then take the lead against O’s starter Grayson Rodriguez, who would make it through just 4.1 innings and 89 pitches in this one.
Rodriguez did not look particularly “off” or anything, despite the less-than-ideal playing conditions. His fastball was down a touch, but he managed to get whiffs on his changeup and curveball like normal. The fact is he probably would have been given a slightly longer leash if the third inning had gone differently.
The Red Sox scored their first two runs in the third when, with two outs and runners on first and third, Orioles third baseman Ramón Urías failed to field a ground ball hit slightly to his right by Trevor Story. Urías likely had time to get his body in front, but instead attempted to backhand the grounder. It’s a play the Gold Glover makes 99% of the time, but not here. Instead the ball rolled to the wall and two runners came home.
Boston kept on scoring in the fourth. Luis Urías led off with a double, and then came around to score on a Reese McGuire triple into the Fenway triangle in deep center field. A few batters later McGuire also crossed the plate on a Devers liner that Urías knocked down at third, but was unable to record an out. That made it 4-3 in favor of the home team.
Cole Irvin came on in relief of Rodriguez in the fifth inning, entering with one out and a runner on second. The southpaw managed to wiggle out of that situation, but not the mess he made for himself in the sixth. Irvin hit the lead-off hitter McGuire with a pitch and then saw Devers reach base on an error by Ryan O’Hearn at first. Triston Casas made it hurt with a long home run over the Green Monster in left-center field for a three-run bomb that put the game out of reach at 7-3.
Meanwhile, the Orioles offense wasn’t doing whole lot. They failed to score against Bello in his final three innings, and then Josh Winckowski and Garrett Whitlock combined for three scoreless innings with six strikeouts in relief.
Obviously, the conditions were not ideal for playing baseball. The game was delayed to start, it rained throughout the day, and the infield was constantly wet. But that’s true for both teams, and this was a game that just didn’t go the Orioles way. In the end, they won the series, and got out of the game without any apparent injuries. Even after the lengthy second delay in the middle of the eighth inning that defied logic entirely.
It’s a somewhat crummy end to what was a terrific road trip for the Birds. They went 7-2 in Arizona, Anaheim, and Boston, winning all three series they played, and they grew their AL East in that span from 1.5 games to three games. You will take that every time!
The O’s now head to the friendly confines of Camden Yards to begin a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals. Dean Kremer is slated for the opener with John Means expected to toe the rubber sometime in the week ahead. First pitch of game one is 6:35.