The Baltimore Orioles went through the final two months of 2012 without losing three games in a row, and they never fell below .500 last season while making an improbable return to the playoffs.
With a 3-1 loss to the Red Sox in Boston’s home opener on Monday, the Orioles extended their losing streak to three games and fell to 3-4 for the season.
”We might spend all day tomorrow crying as a team, holding each other’s hands, spend all day walking through the Prudential Center crying,” outfielder Adam Jones said with a deadpan sarcasm. ”We’re playing good baseball. We’ve got 155 games to go; a lot of games to go.”
Daniel Nava hit a three-run homer off Wei-Yin Cheng (0-1) to break a scoreless tie in the seventh inning, his second homer in two days. Clay Buchholz (2-0) pitched seven shutout innings as the Red Sox won their ninth straight home opener.
”You can’t say enough about what Clay did for us,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. ”The way Chen was pitching – a classic pitchers’ duel. And one swing of the bat becomes the difference.”
The Red Sox improved to 5-2 under Farrell, a year after finishing last in the AL East with a 69-93 record in Bobby Valentine’s only season.
Buchholz gave up three hits and three walks and struck out eight. Last Wednesday, he allowed one run in seven innings in a 7-4 win over the New York Yankees.
Andrew Bailey blanked the Orioles in the eighth, and Jones homered off new Boston closer Joel Hanrahan in the ninth.
Buchholz allowed the first batter to reach base in four innings but only one runner advanced to second. The Red Sox managed just four runners in the first six innings on two singles and two walks, but none got past first base.
”We didn’t do much offensively,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ”Chen gave us a really good chance to win. Wish we could have gotten him a `W.”’
The game was still scoreless when Dustin Pedroia singled and took third on Mike Napoli’s double. Nava, who homered in Sunday’s victory over Toronto, hit a drive over the Green Monster for a 3-0 lead.
Baltimore brought the tying run to the plate after Jones led off the ninth with a solo homer. Chris Davis grounded out to first and Matt Wieters struck out before J.J. Hardy doubled to left.
But Hanrahan retired Ryan Flaherty on game-ending foulout near third base for his third save – his first in Boston.
NOTES: Chris Davis was selected AL player of the week. He also won the award in the final week of last season and is Baltimore’s first winner in consecutive weeks since Eddie Murray in 1981. … After an off day Tuesday, Jake Arrieta (0-0) pitches for the Orioles on Wednesday night against Ryan Dempster (0-1). … The national anthem was sung by the Jimmy Fund Chorus. This is the 60th year in which the Jimmy Fund, associated with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, has been the Red Sox official charity. … Former astronaut Edwin ”Buzz” Aldrin, the second person to walk on the Moon, attended the game. Bill ”Spaceman” Lee also attended the game.