BOSTON, JUNE 29 -- On a day on which the Baltimore Orioles learned that injured reliever Don Aase may not pitch again this year, they suffered yet another battering, this one at the hands of the Boston Red Sox, 14-3, before 31,139 at Fenway Park.
For a second straight day, an Orioles starting pitcher didn't reach the second inning, with Dave Schmidt (8-2) -- whose last effort was a three-hit shutout of the New York Yankees -- lasting two-thirds of an inning.
Schmidt retired one of the eight hitters he faced and was charged with four runs, which made the night easy for Boston's Bruce Hurst, who pitched a complete-game 10-hitter for his ninth victory.
As usual, Wade Boggs was the principal Red Sox weapon. Boggs drove in a career-high seven runs with a grand slam, triple and single to raise his American League-leading batting average to .384. Since being moved into the No. 3 spot in the batting order 49 games ago, he has hit .435, with eight homers and 34 RBI.
Schmidt was followed by Tony Arnold (four runs in 3 1/3 innings), Scott McGregor (six runs in one-plus innings) and Doug Corbett and Eric Bell, who shut out the Red Sox over the final three innings.
The loss was the 25th in 30 games for the Orioles and extended what has become the worst slump in franchise history. Tonight's loss dropped them 16 games out of first place. They've gone 4-26 against the five teams in front of them.
"We embarrassed ourselves," Manager Cal Ripken Sr. said. "Schmidt had pitched so well, so we knew he was due for a bad one. But when your starter gets knocked out in the first inning two days in a row, it puts you in a bad spot. We've just got to keep searching for some pitching. This is the toughest stretch of games I've ever been through."
And then there was the news about Aase, the reliever who has just one save and has been on the disabled list since May 27. His absence has left a gaping hole in the Orioles and is the biggest reason their bullpen has blown 13 leads in the seventh inning or later.
Tonight, they were told he may not be back anytime soon, although no serious damage was discovered in his latest examination, by Red Sox physician Arthur Pappas, who said, "I can't add anything to what you've already heard. There's some inflammation in there. I don't think it's a rotator-cuff injury."
But that wasn't good news to Aase.
"I just don't know," he said. "I'm confused. It gets to a certain point, and then it doesn't get any better. I've done the exercises and gotten the strength back, but the throwing isn't getting any better. It doesn't feel like a muscle soreness to me, but I'm no doctor."
Even on his current schedule, Aase wouldn't have returned until sometime after the all-star break. Now, the Orioles are saying they have no reason to believe he'll return at all this year. A bigger fear is that some kind of rotator-cuff damage will yet be discovered.
Ripken took the latest bad news in stride, just as he has taken every other cannon shot to his team.
"I can't sit around worrying about it," he said. "There's no doubt we'd have won some of the games we've lost if we'd had him. But we don't."
Not even Aase could have saved the Orioles this night because, while many fans were still filing in from Yawkey Way, the Red Sox were starting the rout by getting four fast runs off Schmidt.
The Red Sox finished with 15 hits, and the top three hitters in the batting order combined for seven hits and nine runs. Besides Boggs, Marty Barrett, Bill Buckner, Rich Gedman, Mike Greenwell and Todd Benzinger had two hits apiece, and Benzinger drove in four runs.
In the first inning, they got consecutive singles from Barrett, Benzinger, Boggs and Greenwell for a 2-0 lead. Buckner and Spike Owen also had RBI hits in the first, and Ripken again was forced to go to his bullpen.
An RBI double by Greenwell made it 5-0 in the second and, in the fourth, Boston ran the lead to 8-2 with three runs, two on Boggs' triple and another on Greenwell's sacrifice fly.
Then in the sixth, the Red Sox sent 12 men to the plate and scored six times. Four of the runs came in on Boggs' second career grand slam, and Evans and Buckner also had RBI hits.
Free agent pitcher LaMarr Hoyt will meet with Orioles General Manager Hank Peters and representatives of two other teams in the next couple of days and should decide "within a week" on a new team, attorney Ron Shapiro said.
Shapiro said Hoyt will meet with Peters, Atlanta General Manager Bobby Cox and "another American League team," believed to be the Chicago White Sox. However, he emphasized Hoyt may not be ready to pitch at all this year, adding, "I'd say he was a possible for late 1987 and a probable for 1988." . . .
Pappas also examined Bell (shoulder) and Arnold (back), but found no serious problem with either . . . Pitcher Mike Flanagan will begin his rehabilitation assignment Friday night when Class AAA Rochester plays at Pawtucket. If all goes well, he'll pitch three times for Rochester and start for the Orioles on July 18 in Kansas City.