BOSTON – As the Orioles season winds down, the offense gets quieter and quieter. For the second straight game, the Orioles were shut out by the Boston Red Sox.
On Friday night, it was 35-year-old Rich Hill, who hadn’t thrown a complete game in nine years. A day later, it was seven relievers who combined on a shutout.
The Orioles got just five hits in losing to the Red Sox 8-0 before 36,316 at Fenway Park on Saturday.
"I think the thing I point out is we haven't scored a run in 18 innings. The story for me kind of starts and stops there,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Wei-Yin Chen, who is likely in his final days with the Orioles, allowed two runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings.
That wasn’t so bad, but Oliver Drake and Jorge Rondon combined to allowed six unearned runs as the Orioles committed three errors for the second time in five games.
“It’s just one of those games, you can’t tell why it went bad,” Matt Wieters said. “It didn’t feel, from behind the plate, that we gave up eight runs, but when you look at the scoreboard you know we did.”
Manny Machado made two of those errors, giving him 20. It was the second time this season he’s made two.
“People expect him to catch everything and he just about does,” Showalter does.
Chen (10-8) will start against New York on Friday night, and then seek fame and fortune as a free agent. While the Orioles are expected to proffer a qualifying offer, Chen is expected to reject it.
He had no run support and watched as the Orioles (76-78) dropped 4 ½ games behind Houston for the final wild-card spot with eight games to play. In order to even have a winning season, the Orioles must six of their final eight.
Craig Breslow got his first start after 522 relief appearances and pitched four scoreless innings. Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo had planned on a 40 pitch limit. Instead, Breslow pitched a career high four innings and threw 55 pitches.
Heath Hembree (2-0) followed with a scoreless fifth. Matt Barnes threw two shutout innings. Alexi Ogando, Tommy Layne and Noe Ramirez worked the eighth, and Jonathan Aro pitched the ninth.
Entering this series the Orioles won 11 of 15, including a three-game sweep against the Nationals.
"We swung it better in Washington, but we just went through a two-game period here where we haven't done much offensively. I'll be the first to tip my hat to the other team, but we're capable of better.”
For the fifth straight game, the Orioles were without Adam Jones, who has been suffering from back spasms. Zach Britton, who hasn’t pitched since last Sunday because of a sore left lat, was cleared to return.
“Well, we did some good things in Washington without [Jones]. We did some things pitching-wise without Zach. The good news is Darren [O’Day] was not available again today, but Zach was. Hopefully, we'll get that back on its feet, but if we don't score any runs there won't be any need for him,” Showalter said.
The Red Sox (74-80) scored a run off Chen in the fifth. Brock Holt walked with one out, and Josh Rutledge doubled to score Holt.
In the sixth, Rusney Castillo doubled with two outs and scored on Holt’s single.
“Overall, I feel good, but in the fifth and sixth innings, I kind of lose my command out there and couldn’t get back in time. That’s the thing I’m not happy about today,” Chen said through his interpreter.
Two more runs scored on Machado’s error in the seventh.
Boston added four unearned runs in the eighth on errors by Machado and Steve Pearce.
The Orioles had multiple runners on three times. Jonathan Schoop singled and Gerardo Parra doubled with two outs in the second. In the fifth, J.J. Hardy singled and Nolan Reimold walked with two out, and in the eighth, Ryan Flaherty singled and Machado walked.
“It's September baseball, when you can pitch that many pitchers. It doesn't happen in August or whatever. It's a whole different thing. You've got to be ready for all the things, whether it's the guy last night or the five, six, seven guys they used today out of the bullpen. That's where you are in September. We just didn't score,” Showalter said.
The Orioles were shut out for the 11th time this season, and it was the second time this season they’ve been blanked in consecutive games.
Chris Davis, who has been robbed of five home runs, struck out twice to run his season total to 201, the seventh 200-plus strikeout season in major league history.
NOTE: Ubaldo Jimenez (12-9, 4.16) faces Henry Owens on Sunday at 1:35 p.m.
MORE ORIOLES: Jones missing again from Orioles lineup