Orioles manager Buck Showalter was left to explain another disappointing outing from Jake Arrieta and his club's failure to take advantage of some late opportunities in a 6-5 loss to the Red Sox before 27,806 at Camden Yards.
Arrieta was charged with four runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
"He's a pitch away from getting out of there with three runs in six innings," Showalter said. "He was so deep in the count. He had a lot of counts in his favor and couldn't put people away. I don't think he got an out from the windup for four innings. They were all outs from the stretch. That's why we couldn't figure out why he went to the windup with a man on third.
"It was a challenge for him, but at the end of the day, we had some opportunities to open up (Daniel) Bard and didn't do it either. Both pitchers were pitching very similar, deep in counts. And the tempo of the game wasn't really conducive to offense. Sometimes, it's like we talked about earlier, like the four corners there. Especially after a short night, you really want to go out there with a good tempo and pound the strike zone.
"There were some things (Arrieta) gets into mechanically. He's aware of them and he had trouble making the adjustment to stay out of them today. I could go into all the terms when you see it, and then he gets locked back in and has a good inning. He had one really good crisp inning that I remember when he had things in sync, so to speak. But we had a lot of opportunities there. Did some real good things there with baserunning early in the game and some other things that hurt us a little bit."
The Red Sox are still banged up, but their offense was plenty good enough to take two of the three games.
"We knew coming in these guys were swinging the bats well and doing well," Showalter said. "We had a chance to win two of them - really, three - but two of them, so I'm proud of that. I'm real proud of the effort and the way these guys have gotten after it for these 20 games. I don't count the rainout as an off-day with the work you put in. We knew looking at the schedule it was going to be a real challenge for us physically, mentally and emotionally, but I'm real proud of the way they fought through it.
"We had some opportunities there, especially in the eighth. They handled themselves real well. You've got good offensive teams in the American League East and in the American League in general, and pitching's hard to do. That's why good pitching plays so well."
The bottom of the Red Sox's order proved too much for Orioles pitching.
"I think it's more the depth for them," Showalter said. "It looks like the (Will) Middlebrooks kid is going to be a really good player. He's really impressive, especially with the glove. He's got a good tempo to his game. They've got a lot of pieces, a lot of depth. I like their bullpen. They've got a lot of good weapons for (Bobby) Valentine and it's a given to me that they're going to be a force. We'll continue to compete with them and see what happens."