By Jeff Zrebiec
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
BOSTON, Sept. 8 -- It was the perfect way to encapsulate a decade of losing.
In a 10-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox that was every bit as lopsided as the score suggested, seven Orioles pitchers combined to give up six home runs and five walks. Thirteen Orioles batters managed a grand total of five hits and no runs.
The Orioles clinched their 12th consecutive losing season by watching the Red Sox turn the early innings of Tuesday's series opener at Fenway Park into a glorified round of Home Run Derby. Five of the first 16 Red Sox to bat hit home runs as Boston pounded David Hernandez, whose rookie season is becoming unglued because of an inability to keep the ball in the ballpark.
Hernandez, who served up four of the Red Sox's six home runs in 2 2/3 innings and the first multihomer game of Dustin Pedroia's career, has now surrendered seven long balls in his past seven innings.
Chris Lambert also allowed a three-run homer to J.D. Drew in his Orioles debut and not to be outdone, Bob McCrory surrendered a solo shot to David Ortiz as the Orioles saw just their third two-game winning streak since the all-star break ended in emphatic fashion before an announced 37,647.
The loss dropped them to 56-82, and ensuring -- as if there was any doubt remaining -- that the Orioles would finish the season with a losing record, continuing a dubious streak that started in 1998.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 12 consecutive losing seasons is tied for the 11th longest streak in modern baseball history, along with the St. Louis Browns (1930-41) and the Detroit Tigers (1994-2005). It's the longest in Orioles history, but not in overall franchise history, according to Elias.
The Orioles are 1-7 at Fenway Park this season.