After two shellackings by the Orioles on Friday (16-3) and Saturday (7-0)—not to mention a 13-6 beatdown by the Indians on Thursday, it really seemed as though the Red Sox would pull out a win on Sunday.
Instead, the Sox fell 2-1 for the first Orioles three-game sweep of the Red Sox since 2015 and the first one at Fenway since September 8-10, 2014.
Baltimore gave the Sox plenty of opportunities, allowing eight hits and eight walks on Sunday.
Boston starter Doug Fister did his part, too, stumbling for two first-inning runs, but otherwise keeping the birds in the park and off the scoreboard for 7.0 IP. In this case, “stumble” isn’t a turn of phrase. Fister said postgame the balk call against him, his first since 2011, came as a result of catching his cleat in the first. Boston relievers Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel each worked a scoreless inning.
But even against Baltimore’s mediocre pitching the Sox couldn’t muster more than one lonely run in the sixth inning. In both the fifth and sixth innings the Sox loaded the bases—and left them loaded. The Red Sox now have 13 inning-ending, bases-loaded strikeouts this season, their most such strikeouts in a single season since 2014 (18).
In all, Boston left 13 men on base, going 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position on Sunday.
Eight Hits, Eight Walks…and a Loss
Sunday’s was just the 19th game in all the major leagues where a team mustered eight or more hits plus eight or more walks and still came away with a loss. It was the first such game for the Red Sox since June 22, 2016.
The last time the Orioles allowed as many hits and walks to the Red Sox and still won the game was April 30, 2010. It has been over 10 years since Baltimore managed that at Fenway Park (May 11, 2007).
Yankees Creep Closer
Meanwhile, in New York, the Yankees capitalized on five Mariners’ errors, all coming in one inning. Seattle’s five errors were the most in an inning in club history. The last major league team to make five errors in one inning was the 1977 Chicago Cubs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
New York now trails Boston by 2½ games in the American League East.
On Monday the Red Sox will open a three-game set in Toronto against the Blue Jays, who are 3-7 for their last 10 games. Conversely, the Yankees will host three games against the hot Cleveland Indians, who are 7-3 for their last 10. The Red Sox will play in the Bronx starting next Friday night.