Orioles hope to rebound from ugly loss in Boston
BOSTON – By the time this forgettable game was over, Adam Jones, Manny Machado and Matt Wieters were already dressed and ready to go.
They’d be mercifully removed from the game before its end. By then, the result was painfully obvious.
The 13-2 defeat to the Boston Red Sox before 36,226 at Fenway Park on Tuesday night would be quickly forgotten, they promised.
The 13 runs allowed was the most the Orioles have given up in 2013, and the 11-run margin of defeat equaled the worst this year.
“Losing 2-1 hurts a little more than losing 13-2, so stop crying,” Jones said.
Wei-Yin Chen had the most painful night. In his two-year career, Chen hadn’t had a night this bad. Chen allowed eight runs in 3 2/3 innings. It was both the most runs he had allowed and his shortest outing.
“This is probably the worst game in my career,” Chen said through his translator. “I have to apologize to my team. I didn’t want to hurt my team.”
The Red Sox (78-55) lead the third place Orioles (70-60) by 6 ½ games in the American League East. The Orioles trail Oakland by 3 ½ for the final Wild Card spot.
Chen allowed a run in the first, two in the third and five in the fifth.
Shane Victorino set a career mark with seven RBIs. He hit two homers for the second time in his career.
“I’m definitely disappointed tonight in my performance. Especially because these are really important games to me,” Chen said.
In the bottom of the first, Victorino walked with one out off Chen (7-7). Dustin Pedroia doubled, and Victorino scored on David Ortiz’s sacrifice fly.
The Orioles took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third against Felix Doubront (10-6). J.J. Hardy and Danny Valencia singled to start the inning. Steve Pearce was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Brian Roberts’ bases-loaded walk scored Hardy and Machado’s sacrifice fly to right brought home Valenica.
Victorino’s 10th home run of the season, a two-run shot, gave Boston a 3-2 lead in the fourth.
Mike Napoli’s 17th home run of the season started a five-run fourth. Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled. Stephen Drew walked. With one out, Jacoby Ellsbury singled, but Drew took a wide turn off second and was tagged out. Chen hit Victorino with a pitch to load the bases.
Pedroia doubled to score Saltalamacchia and Ellsbury. Ortiz was walked intentionally and Chen was removed for Miguel Gonzalez.
Gonzalez has been used in relief the past two games. He allowed a two-run double to Jonny Gomes, and the Red Sox led 8-2. Napoli ended the inning with a line drive to center.
“It's hard to believe we were ahead in this game 2-1. But you've got a team playing well. That's why they are where they are. You make some mistakes, especially in this park, you're going to pay for it," manager Buck Showalter said.
In 3 2/3 innings, Chen allowed eight runs and eight hits. Chen walked three and struck out five and hit a batter. In his first 14 starts this season, Chen allowed six home runs, but has allowed another six in his last three.
"It seemed like every time Wei-Yin made a mistake, he paid for it. He jerked some balls across the plate and left some out over there where he usually doesn't do it,” Showalter said.
Gonzalez pitched to two batters, leaving him available for a Friday start in New York.
Victorino’s three-run shot off Troy Patton in the fifth gave Boston an 11-2 lead. In the seventh, he had a two-run double off Brian Matusz to give him a career high seven RBIs.
Doubront gave up two runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking one striking out seven and hitting one.
In the final six innings, the Orioles had just two singles.
“We got our butts kicked tonight and there’s no doubt about that. But it’s over now,” Wieters said.
With so many teams in the playoff hunt, the Orioles have to be concerned about their chances.
“A loss is a loss at this point in the year. We’re fighting for the playoffs, so we’re just trying to rack up some wins,” Wieters said.
Showalter was left to contemplate a possible move to strengthen the bullpen for Wednesday’s game.
“I just think thank goodness it was one night,” Showalter said.
NOTES: Bud Norris (9-10, 4.22) faces John Lackey (8-11, 3.17) on Wednesday.
-Wilson Betemit made his 2013 debut. He played first base in the bottom of the eighth and grounded out to end the game.
- Valencia, who was the designated hitter, moved over to third base for the eighth. It was his first appearance in the field for the Orioles.