Orioles rookie Yefry Ramirez probably deserved better than the loss he took and the three runs on his account from his first big league start Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox.
But if he remains with the club for long past its 5-1 loss — which clinched the Orioles’ third seven-game losing streak and dropped them to 19-48 — he’ll learn that life in this rotation can provide plenty of challenges that just pitching well doesn’t solve.
Mookie Betts homered to center field with one out in the third inning, and both of the fifth-inning walks Ramirez issued ended up scoring off reliever Mike Wright Jr., but Ramirez otherwise avoided trouble, striking out six and coaxing plenty of weak contact from Boston’s eager hitters.
His main problem, other than those two walks coming around to score in a three-run fifth, was that his opposite, Chris Sale, had no trouble carving through the Orioles lineup.
Ramirez looked as though he’d be able to stay in stride with Sale for the first four innings, mostly thanks to a change-up that Red Sox batters couldn’t pick up. He navigated most of his minor league career with success thanks to a changeup that many thought was a major league-caliber pitch. At least on this day, it lived up to that billing.
Five strikeouts came on his change-up, and the pitch accounted for seven of the 13 outs he recorded.