BOSTON — Anyone taking a glimpse of Fenway Park’s iconic Green Monster can’t miss the posting of the American League East standings, which after Tuesday’s off day will show the Orioles with a losing record for the first time since the end of the 2011 season.
The Orioles’ 3-1 loss to the Red Sox in Boston’s home opener Monday marked their first three-game losing streak since last July 23-25. However, the loss comes just seven games into this young season, prompting the Orioles (3-4) to scoff at the notion that these consecutive losses give any reason to worry.
“We might spend all day tomorrow crying as a team, holding each other’s hands, just walking through the Prudential Center, just crying,” center fielder Adam Jones said sarcastically. “It’s seven games into the season. It’s not like we just got blown out. We got beat.”
After opening the season 3-1 and averaging more than seven runs a game, the Orioles are averaging just three runs in their last three games. All four of the Orioles’ losses have been decided by two or fewer runs.
Fenway is a place where last year’s Orioles dominated — winning seven of nine and all three series in Boston. And Orioles Manager Buck Showalter always talks about how the key to winning is extending the peaks and shortening the valleys during the grind of a 162-game schedule.
Now, the Orioles will have a day to rest and make sure three losses don’t turn into more.
“I think this off day is very much needed,” catcher Matt Wieters said. “The opening week can be very difficult with day game, night game, day game, things like that, so it’s nice to get a day off and get back in that normal schedule like it will be for the rest of the year.”
On Monday, the Orioles’ offense failed to support starter Wei-Yin Chen, who held the Red Sox scoreless over his first six innings of work. Chen didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning. But it all unraveled quickly for Chen in the seventh inning after Daniel Nava’s three-run homer over the Green Monster in left field.
The big inning for the Red Sox (5-2) began when Dustin Pedroia led off the seventh with an infield single that shortstop J.J. Hardy scooped up on the outfield grass but couldn’t make the throw on. Mike Napoli followed with a double off the Green Monster in left center field. And two batters later, Nava chased Chen from the game by taking a 1-1 outside fastball over the high wall in left.
The Orioles had their opportunities to break through against Boston starter Clay Buchholz — who tossed seven scoreless innings and allowed three hits.
Chen had pitched well against the Red Sox, compiling a 2-0 mark with a 2.50 ERA in three previous starts against Boston. And Chen retired nine of the first 10 hitters he faced and didn’t allow a base runner to reach second until the fateful seventh inning.
— Baltimore Sun