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Red Sox win 8-0, shut out Orioles for second consecutive game

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Red Sox win 8-0, shut out Orioles for second consecutive game

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

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Showalter fired as Orioles manager after 115-loss season

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Showalter fired as Orioles manager after 115-loss season

Buck Showalter has been fired as manager of the Orioles, who made three playoff appearances under his guidance but this year staggered through the worst season since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954.

Showalter confirmed the dismissal Wednesday in a text message to The Associated Press.

A three-time AL Manager of the Year, Showalter ranks second on the Orioles' career list with 669 victories, trailing Earl Weaver. He took over in August 2010 and orchestrated the resurgence of a team that suffered through 14 straight losing seasons.

Once hailed for making baseball in Baltimore relevant again, the 62-year-old Showalter is out of a job after a season in which the Orioles finished 47-115, 61 games behind Boston in the AL East. His contract expired at the end of October, and the Orioles opted against a renewal as they continue a major rebuild that began in late July, when they traded stars Manny Machado, Zach Britton, Jonathan Schoop and Kevin Gausman for minor league prospects.

Those deals were made by Dan Duquette, the executive vice president of baseball operations, whose future with the organization is up in the air.

Showalter earned AL Manager of the Year honors in 2014 after taking the Orioles to the AL East title and a berth in the Championship Series. He was also named Manager of Year with the Yankees in 1994 and Texas in 2004. His career record is 1,551-1,517, including 669-684 with Baltimore.

"I just think ever since he came here, the franchise just gained a little more accountability, gained an edge for some time," Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said before the final game of the season. "It's the end of an era. A great manager, a great tenure. I don't know if he's going to coach or manage again, but he's got grandchildren. Go golf. Relax and go sit on the golf course."

With his future in doubt, Showalter appeared undaunted during the final series of the regular season.

"You know how good they've been to me? I'm not ever going to forget that, regardless of what happens," he said.

Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin was asked before his team's playoff game against the Yankees on Wednesday night whether Showalter was victimized by the trend toward analytics.

"I don't think Buck was a guy that ignored analytics," Melvin said. "I think it was probably a combination of how they did this year and maybe some relationships."

After the Orioles brought Showalter out of retirement, he offered renewed hope by fashioning a 34-23 finish in 2010 for a team that was 32-73 upon his arrival.

Baltimore ended a 14-year playoff drought in 2012, advancing to the AL Division Series following a victory over Texas in the wild-card game. Playoff appearances in 2014 and 2016 followed.

Last year, however, the Orioles fell to 75-87 after losing 19 of their final 23 games. Baltimore hoped the addition of starters Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner would enable the team to be a contender this year, but a horrid start quickly dispelled that notion.

The Orioles' deficit in the AL East reached double digits by April 18 and they were 8-27 on May 8. By the end of July, Baltimore fully entered rebuilding mode, leaving Showalter with the dubious distinction of overseeing a team that finished with the poorest record in the majors and one that surpassed the 1939 St. Louis Browns for most losses in franchise history.

Showalter never offered an excuse. He just grinded forward, working to prepare the team for 2019 even though he knew he might not be around to follow through.

At the outset of a season-ending series against Houston, Showalter was asked if he was thinking these might be his final days in the Baltimore dugout.

"We all have some private thoughts and emotions about that, but I don't think it serves the organization well for me to be worried about that right now," he said. "We've got some things to do these last four games that need to get done."

Showalter has a reputation as a no-nonsense manager, but his players appreciated his baseball knowledge and skill at handling a team. He made a point of talking to each of them on a regular basis, almost always offering encouragement.

"He gave me a chance," said catcher Caleb Joseph, who played six-plus years in the minors before arriving in Baltimore. "He believed in me in 2014, ran me out there and gave me a chance to be part of a championship team. He's really vouched for me ever since. I owe a lot to Buck and his loyalty. He's been a main figure here for a long time."

Sensing the end was near for the only big league manager he had ever played for, first baseman Trey Mancini said: "It's been an absolute honor to play for Buck. He's been incredible."

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Red Sox beat Orioles 6-2 to clinch home field through Series

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Red Sox beat Orioles 6-2 to clinch home field through Series

The Boston Red Sox broke a 106-year-old franchise record with their 106th victory on Monday night, clinching home-field advantage through the postseason by beating the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 thanks to a pair of hits from major league batting leader Mookie Betts.

Nathan Eovaldi struck out 10 hapless Orioles batters to assure the Red Sox of the best record in baseball this season and home-field advantage through the World Series, if they make it that far. For now, they know they will open the Division Series at Fenway Park on Oct. 5 against the winner of the AL wild-card game between the New York Yankees and mostly likely Oakland.

The 1912 Red Sox won 105 games in their first season at Fenway Park.

The Orioles (45-111) became the sixth AL team and the first since the 2003 Tigers to lose 111 games, falling 60 games behind Boston (106-51) in the division. It's the first time since 1939 that teams separated by 60 wins in the standings have played each other.

Boston scored four in the second inning, getting back-to-back doubles from Steve Pearce and Brock Holt, an RBI single from Christian Vazquez and Betts' two-run homer over the Green Monster. It was the 32nd homer of the season for Betts, a new career high.

Betts also singled and scored in Boston's two-run fourth, moving him into the major-league lead with 125 runs scored. In his last three games, he is 10 for 16 with three homers and four doubles, and he leads teammate J.D. Martinez (.328) in the AL batting race.

Renato Nunez had three hits for the Orioles, who fell to 2-15 against Boston and 18-61 on the road this season.

FOR STARTERS

Six days after throwing six scoreless innings against the Yankees, Eovaldi (6-7) allowed one run on four hits in five innings, walking none but uncorking a pair of wild pitches.

Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy (8-16) gave up four runs on five hits and three walks in three innings, striking out five.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: RHP Yefrey Ramirez is scheduled to start on Wednesday, but manager Buck Showalter said he wanted to give him an extra day or two. "I think Yefrey will pitch again, I just don't know when," Showalter said.

Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts was back in the lineup after feeling soreness in his left shoulder during a swing and leaving Sunday night's game. ... INF Eduardo Nunez ran on Sunday to test his hamstring and was scheduled to run again on Monday with the goal of having him back in the lineup by Wednesday or Friday.

UP NEXT

LHP David Price (15-7) tries to bounce back from a rough start in Yankee Stadium in the second game of the series in what could be his last start of the regular season.