Pitching stumbles again, Red Sox lose 9-5 to hot Orioles
BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox weren’t overly concerned after their third straight loss.
The last two happened to come against the Baltimore Orioles, who remained the only unbeaten team in the majors with a 9-5 win at Boston on Tuesday night.
“It’s early. Don’t panic,” said David Ortiz, who hit a two-run homer in the first inning for Boston.
Ortiz gave Boston a 2-0 lead that held until Baltimore began outslugging Boston.
J.J. Hardy had a pair of two-run home runs and Mark Trumbo added another as the Orioles improved to 7-0 and tagged Boston pitchers for nine runs for the second straight game.
Trumbo’s homer off Clay Buchholz (0-1) was his second in two days. It was part of a three-run sixth inning that put the Orioles in front.
Buchholz faced four batters in the inning and didn’t get an out, catching a bad break when the swirling wind drove a foul pop-up by Trumbo just out of catcher Blake Swihart’s reach. Trumbo stayed alive in the at-bat and belted a shot off the very top of a sign above the Green Monster.
“We’re seven games in,” Buchholz said. “There isn’t anybody worried about this.”
Buchholz allowed five runs on five hits, struck out five and walked three.
Manager John Farrell said Buchholz actually pitched better than in his season debut at Toronto last week, when he also allowed five runs on five hits. Buchholz wound up with the loss Tuesday, but Boston’s relievers also struggled against the Orioles’ lineup.
“Seemingly any pitch that we mislocate, they have not missed in the two games so far,” Farrell said.
This is the Orioles’ best start since moving to Baltimore in 1954 — the franchise went 9-0 as the St. Louis Browns to start the 1944 season.
Hardy curled Buchholz’s fastball inside the right field foul pole for his first homer in the fourth, then got his second off Robbie Ross in the seventh.
It was the 12th career multihomer game for Hardy and his first since 2014.
Mike Wright (1-0) made his season debut after having it delayed by a rainout. He went five innings, gave up four runs and struck out four.
Trumbo now has two home runs and five RBIs through two games of the three-game series, which concludes Wednesday night.
The first of several Ortiz-themed giveaways for Red Sox fans this season took place Tuesday. The team gave away 15,000 replica chained necklaces with a medallion commemorating Big Papi’s 500th home run last season.
Ortiz, who is retiring at the end of the season, said he wasn’t concerned by the team struggling early in his final season.
“Why should I be? We’ve got a hundred and some more games left,” he said. “I know our pitching staff is going to bounce back and put it together.”
Orioles: Manager Buck Showalter said that LHP Brian Matusz, currently on the 15-day disabled list with a back strain, will pitch at least one more time for the Orioles’ Class A Frederick affiliate beginning Friday. Showalter said an outing Monday night for Matusz in Frederick “didn’t go too well for him.” ... Right-hander Kevin Gausman (shoulder) is also rehabbing while on the 15-day DL. Outfielder Adam Jones missed his fifth straight start with ribcage soreness.
Orioles: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (1-0) will make his second start of the season. He struck out nine in seven innings in his debut against the Twins.
Red Sox: RHP Joe Kelly (0-0) is looking to bounce back after allowing seven earned runs on seven hits in three innings.