BALTIMORE – The 2015 season isn’t even three weeks old, and the Orioles have their longest losing streak since Sept. 2013.
An inopportune walk and costly error hurt the Orioles and they lost their fifth straight to the Boston Red Sox 7-5 before 37,359 on Friday night at Oriole Park.
With the game tied at four in the eighth, Tommy Hunter got the first two outs. Against Brian Matusz, Pablo Sandoval, who is 0-for-13 when facing left-handers, walked.
Darren O’Day replaced Matusz (0-2) and faced pinch hitter Allen Craig, who bounced a ball to third that Manny Machado couldn’t come up with and was charged with an error.
Brock Holt hit a three-run home run to right, and the Red Sox (10-7) led 7-4.
In Thursday night’s loss, the Orioles walked eight batters.
"We only walked two guys tonight, and the two really bit us against a good team,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Manny's as good a third baseman as you can find. He made a couple plays in that game that a lot of third basemen don't make, one for sure. He's bailed us out a lot of times. I think the walks hurt us.”
Matusz has walked seven batters in just 7 1/3 innings this season.
“You've got to be able to throw the ball over the plate, give your fielders a chance. That's been my problem so far this year is being able to throw strikes. You've got just got to be able to throw strikes,” Matusz said.
Alexi Ogando (1-0) faced two batters in the seventh and got the win.
The Orioles haven’t lost five straight since Sept.19-24, 2013 when they dropped six in a row.
“Nobody's going to feel sorry for us. This is not the type of club that's going to wallow around in self pity,” Showalter said.
Rick Porcello struck out the first five Orioles he faced: Alejandro De Aza, Machado, Jimmy Paredes, Adam Jones and Chris Davis.
He didn’t allow a hit until Machado singled to center with one out in center. Paredes homered to right, his second, and the Orioles (7-10) led 2-0.
Miguel Gonzalez allowed three hits and hit a batter through four, and after he got the first two outs of the fifth walked Mookie Betts. Dustin Pedroia singled, and David Ortiz, who managed to anger Jim Palmer enough that he chided him on Twitter this week, homered to right, his fourth of the season.
Ortiz’s antics of last Sunday, which led to his ejection, annoyed Palmer, and Big Papi enjoyed the ride around the bases, which did not end with a gesture toward Palmer, who was in the broadcast booth.
Hanley Ramirez followed with a home run to left, his sixth of the year, and suddenly the Orioles were behind 4-2.
In his major league debut, Rey Navarro doubled to left in his second at-bat, moved to third on a fly to center by Caleb Joseph and scored on Everth Cabrera’s single to left. Navarro struck out in his first at-bat.
Machado reached on an error by Sandoval at third to start the sixth, and was thrown out at second by Ramirez in left after Paredes flied to him.
Gonzalez became just the fourth Orioles starter to finish six innings in the first 17 games. He gave up four runs on eight hits.
“I think we all know what we are capable of doing as starters. We all want to go six, seven eight innings. Right now, it’s not going our way but we just got to keep working hard at it and things will change for sure,” Gonzalez said.
Showalter was pleased with Gonzalez’s effort.
“I didn't think Miguel was carrying his normal stuff and he got through it. He painted himself in a little bit of a corner there,” Showalter said. “He's pitched very well to Ortiz. He kind of got backed in a corner there. We scored some runs, we did some good things to get back in it. There are good things you can take out of it.”
The Orioles tied it at four in the seventh. Davis walked, Young singled, and Craig Breslow replaced Porcello. Navarro bunted both runners along, and Joseph was walked intentionally. Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly to left. Each runner moved up a base. Ogando walked pinch hitter Steve Pearce, and with the bases loaded, Machado struck out on a 3-2 count.
Davis homered off Junichi Tazawa in the eighth, his third of the year.
Koji Uehara pitched the ninth for his third save. He allowed singles to Joseph and Pearce, but with runners on first and third got Machado to pop out and struck out Paredes.
NOTES: Former Maryland standout Dez Wells threw out the first pitch. … Justin Masterson (2-0, 5.74) faces Wei-Yin Chen (0-1, 3.07) on Saturday night.