The vaunted Sox offense, which has averaged the 3rd-most runs per game (5.45) in baseball, was decidedly not on display in Game 12 vs the Orioles Sunday. Boston fell to Baltimore 8-3 in the Red Sox’ first back-to-back losses of the season.
The Red Sox were held to three runs all on a first inning home run by Hanley Ramírez. It was his club-best 5th HR of the season in only 11 appearances thus far, the fewest games it has ever taken him to reach that total. The last Red Sox player with 5 or more home runs in the club’s first 12 games was Dustin Pedroia.
The Ramírez 3-run home run was the 4th time Boston has scored in the 1st inning this season and the club’s most 1st inning runs thus far.
Besides Ramírez, Red Sox batters were limited by Orioles pitching to just 4 hits, one each by Brock Holt, Mike Napoli, Pablo Sandoval, and Shane Victorino. In just two games the Orioles have outscored the Red Sox 12-4.
David Ortiz, frustrated by third-base umpire Jerry Meals’ call on his checked swing wound up ejected by home plate official John Tumpane. It was the 1st Sox ejection on the year, the 11th of Ortiz’ career and his first since July 27, 2013. Big Papi’s last three ejections have all come while playing the Orioles.
Meanwhile, Red Sox pitching, particularly starting pitching, continues to disappoint. Sunday’s game was a 2nd already this season where an opponent has put together 15 or more hits. The Red Sox join the Giants and Yankees as the only teams in baseball to allow this many hits in two games of the new season.
Starter Rick Porcello saw his ERA balloon from 3.86 to 6.63 after allowing 12 hits and 8 earned runs over just 5.0 innings. “I just didn’t pitch my game,” he said afterwards. “I need to go back, work on making the adjustments you need to make, and be ready to go in 5 days.” The 12 hits Porcello allowed matched for a 5th time his career high.
Sox relievers Craig Breslow and Edward Mujica fared better, working 4 scoreless innings with 3 hits allowed. Breslow threw at least 3.0 innings for only the 3rd time in his career, matching 3.0 IP on August 29, 2008 and 3.2 IP on September 20, 2005.
In all, Red Sox pitching allowed 13+ hits for the 2nd game in a row. It’s the first back-to-back such games since July 5-6, 2014, also against the Orioles.
Orioles look good
Red Sox failures aside, the Orioles look like a strong club and a potent Red Sox adversary this season. With Sunday’s win Baltimore improves to 7-1 over their last 8 games at Fenway.
Adam Jones, Baltimore’s leader in so many 2015 stats, matched his single-game career highs Sunday in RBI (5) and hits (4). Jones joined Miguel Cabrera as only MLB players thus far already with two games of 4 hits each. With his 20th home run against the Red Sox Sunday, Jones has now hit more against Boston than any other club except the Blue Jays (21). It was Jones’ 10th career home run at Fenway Park.
Maine-native Ryan Flaherty, who grew up a Red Sox fan, also homered against Porcello Sunday. It was the 25th HR of Flaherty’s career and marked the 24th of 91 total games where Porcello has allowed multiple home runs.