BALTIMORE, JUNE 16 -- News flash: The Baltimore Orioles left only one runner in scoring position today.

Of course they only got four into scoring position against Boston's Mike Boddicker, who defeated them, 6-3, at Memorial Stadium for his career-best seventh consecutive victory.

It was Baltimore's fourth consecutive loss and fifth in six games -- all at home. Pitcher John Mitchell, making his first American League start today after being recalled from Class AAA Rochester on Friday, lasted 5 1/3 innings (the most by an Orioles starter during the losing streak) and was no match for Boddicker.

"He's on top of his game right now," Red Sox third baseman Wade Boggs said of the right-hander, whose 8-3 record this season makes him 30-17 since being traded from Baltimore to Boston in July 1988 for outfielder Brady Anderson and pitcher Curt Schilling. "When he's pitching like this, he's unstoppable."

Boggs also looked unstoppable despite a bruised left hand that had sidelined him for the last two games. He broke a zero-for-13 slump with a single, a double and his first Memorial Stadium home run. Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken took a hit from Boggs in the first inning by diving toward the middle to flag down a hard grounder and throwing him out from one knee.

Ripken was not as successful at the plate despite another pregame batting session under the stands with Manager Frank Robinson. He grounded out four times. He had plenty of company, however.

Phil Bradley went four for four, Mickey Tettleton two for four and Randy Milligan one for four. Only two other Orioles reached base. Steve Finley made it on a fielder's choice, Craig Worthington on the only walk Boddicker allowed in eight-plus innings.

"If you don't get them out there, you don't leave them," said Robinson, whose club left 25 runners in scoring position in the previous four games.

Boston had them out there all day against Mitchell, who made three relief appearances for the Orioles before being sent to Rochester on April 30 when rosters were reduced from 27 to 25.

He had been terrific with the Red Wings, compiling a 5-0 record and 1.57 earned run average in 46 innings. But with the way he pitched today, he said, "I don't think I would have gotten any better results in Triple A."

Ten of his first 15 pitches were balls, and even though he finished with more strikes than balls, he was constantly behind in the count. Even when he caught up, he had trouble getting outs.

In the first, only Ripken's play and a diving catch by center fielder Steve Finley with runners on first and second let him get away without a run.

He allowed a two-out double in the second, and got worked over in the third when Boston scored four runs on five hits -- three of which came with two strikes.

Boggs led off with a single. He moved to second on a two-strike single by Jody Reed, to third on a single by Mike Greenwell.

Tom Brunansky, who entered one for five with the bases loaded, popped out to second. When Dwight Evans lined out, scoring Boggs, it looked like Mitchell might escape relatively unscathed. But Ellis Burks doubled home Reed on a 2-2 pitch and Carlos Quintana singled home Greenwell and Burks, also on a 2-2 pitch.

That made it 4-0 -- a familiar position for the Orioles, who have not led in the last four games and have led only twice for a total of three innings in their last six contests.

"We can't continually give up three or four runs in the second, third or fourth innings," Robinson said. "Four runs don't feel as bad when you give them up over nine innings. But when you do it in one inning . . . . It's a psychological thing really. It has an effect on the offense."

Boddicker also had an effect, with his usual assortment of speed changes and release points.

"He can really foul you up," Robinson said. "He throws all different kinds of pitches from all different angles. He's tough on a young, inexperienced club. He's tough period."

Said Boddicker: "I was changing speeds well with all my pitches. I was doing a lot of things. I even threw a few {batting practice} sidearm fastballs."

The Orioles made it 4-1 in the fourth. Bradley singled and was forced by Finley, who stole second and scored on a two-out single by Tettleton.

Boston added a run in the sixth inning. Carlos Quintana doubled off the center field wall and took third on a sacrifice. Mitchell then hit Luis Rivera with a pitch before being relieved by Kevin Hickey.

Boggs, zero for five against Hickey coming in, scored Quintana with a double to left and Reed walked to load the bases. Greenwell then grounded into a double play, one of four turned by the Orioles.

Baltimore then cut it to 5-2 in the sixth when Bradley scored on a two-out single by Milligan.

Boggs led off the ninth with his homer, off Mark Williamson, and Tettleton led off Baltimore's half of the ninth with a triple on which Brunansky injured himself diving for the ball. He went to an area hospital after the game for X-rays. Tettleton scored on pinch hitter Mike Devereaux's flyout off reliever Rob Murphy.

Orioles Notes: Right-handed pitcher Ben McDonald, here for medical evaluation of continuing problems with blisters on his right middle finger, will return to Class AAA Rochester on Monday or Tuesday, General Manager Roland Hemond said.

"He'll be ready to pitch by the middle of the week," said Hemond, who added McDonald needs more work before being ready for the majors.

The finger "wasn't as bad as we thought," Robinson said. "It's healing pretty well." The medical verdict is McDonald needs to throw enough to toughen the skin on the finger. . . .

Scott McGregor and Hank Bauer were inducted into the club's hall of fame today, bringing the number of inductees to 21.