Boston’s Dustin Pedroia hits a double in the ninth inning. (Michael Reynolds/European Pressphoto Agency)

It’s a common belief in the first weeks after spring training that pitchers are slightly ahead of hitters. It’s not a belief shared by the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox, who picked apart Baltimore left-hander Wei-Yin Chen in his season debut in front of an announced 20,880.

Chen allowed a career-high 12 hits and lasted just 52 / 3 innings on Thursday in a 4-3 loss in the rubber game of this season-opening series at Camden Yards, sending the Baltimore Orioles to a six-game road trip to Detroit and New York losers of two of their first three.

Eleven of the 12 hits against Chen were singles. He did not record a clean inning and allowed the leadoff man on in each of the first four frames.

Three times, that leadoff man scored.

In eight career starts against the Red Sox, Chen is 2-3 with a 5.24 ERA.

Chen ended last season with just one win in final 12 starts, going 1-4 in that span. He recorded just three quality starts in that span.

The Orioles have struggled to score runs in the season’s early going, and on Thursday, they battled tough luck.

Trailing 3-0 in the fourth inning, Chris Davis and Matt Wieters both missed home runs by a matter of feet, hitting doubles high off the outfield wall.

Davis took a 1-0 fastball from Red Sox left-hander Felix Doubront to straight-away center field deep enough that he went into a home run trot, but the ball hit off the top of the center field wall and Davis had to hustle to slide into second for a double.

Three batters later, Wieters — who had three hits on the night — hit a pitch that hit off the right-center field wall by the grounds crew shed for a double that scored Davis.

Delmon Young then went the opposite way with the long RBI single that hit off the right-field fence to score Wieters and cut the lead to 3-2.

— Baltimore Sun