BOSTON - Kicking off a key homestand, the Red Sox performed a face plant at Fenway Park, dropping a 6-4 decision to the Baltimore Orioles in the first of a stretch of 10 consecutive games against divisional opponents.
Starter Joe Kelly failed to get out of the fourth inning and spotted the Orioles a 4-0 lead in the second, with three of the runs coming on a home run to No. 9 hitters David Lough.
With runners at first and second and two outs in the fourth, he was given the hook for Robbie Ross Jr., who promptly allowed a run-scoring single that was charged to Kelly.
Kelly's ERA zoomed to 5.67 with the poor start. After winning his first start of the season -- a brilliant outing against the Yankees on April 11 -- Kelly has won just one of his last 13 starts.
The Red Sox managed to have baserunners in each of the first six innings, and plated solo runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth.
But they failed to put together a big inning despite some chances and stranded nine baserunners.
A two-out double by Dustin Pedroia in the ninth scored Mookie Betts and brought the potential tying run to the plate in the person of David Ortiz. But O's closer Zach Britton got Ortiz to line out to third for the final out.
Brock Holt, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval each collected run-scoring singles to account for the three Boston runs. Sandoval enjoyed a three-hit night - all singles -- and has multiple hits in seven of his last eight games.
The final Orioles run came in the sixth when Manny Machado doubled home Ryan Flaherty, a run that was charged to Robbie Ross Jr.