BOSTON - The Orioles fell behind, 2-0, in the first inning, 4-0 in the second and 6-0 in the third.
Going against Clay Buchholz, they had no shot.
Buchholz tossed his third career shutout, all coming against the Orioles. Meanwhile, Brian Matusz went two innings plus a batter and was charged with five runs, four of them earned.
“Command of the fastball,” manager Buck Showalter said when asked to explain why Matusz struggled. “We sit here and talk about it a lot. You can have a couple good breaking balls, a good changeup, but you’ve got to establish the fastball. You can’t expect to get any borderline pitches when you’re struggling with the strike zone there.
“He never really got into a (rhythm), seemed to be fighting himself and spent an awful lot of pitches and never really seemed to get into a consistent delivery. But you always hope with a guy like him that a couple of batters, and he’ll fall in step. But he just couldn’t seem to get it together there.
“He was getting to a point with that number of pitches in that short of time. It’s not a good idea to keep him out there.
“I know it’s disappointing for him. It’s hopefully a one-game setback. He’ll get the ball again, and he’ll get an opportunity. It’ll be a tough four days for him because he knows he’s better than that. But he knows that takes the wind out of our sails early in the game after we played a couple good, crisp games. I know he’s disappointed.”
Matusz has an 11.40 ERA in his last three starts in Fenway Park.
“I think Brian will be the first to tell you that he created a lot of the problems he had, and it’s real tough to get much tempo in the game or any crispness going,” Showalter said. “It really does a lot for your offense too, Stand out on the field there for 30 pitches in an inning, and it really puts you on your heels, especially at the end of a nine-game road trip.”
Miguel Gonzalez, in his second major league appearance, covered four innings tonight and was charged with only one run. He also let an inherited runner score.
“One of the moves we made to keep our options open for Saturday, Miguel was an option, and obviously not after tonight,” Showalter said. “We may need (Dana) Eveland tomorrow. We’ll see. (Gonzalez) has twice come in in an extended role and presented himself pretty well, all things considered.”
Buchholz presented himself quite well, blanking the Orioles on four hits.
“Yeah, it took him 125 pitches to do it, but he was a lot like (Josh) Beckett last night,” Showalter said. “We couldn’t string much together. He commanded all his pitches, and it kind of takes the wind out of your sails there in the first couple innings when you’re out on the field that long. Deep in a lot of counts.
“It was more take Brian out from a safety standpoint. Throwing that many pitches in two-plus innings.”
Showalter sent up Nick Johnson as a pinch-hitter for Adam Jones in the ninth.
“Adam is still a little sore,” Showalter said. “We picked a spot there to get him out of there and save an at-bat. He got jammed earlier, and I know it bites him a little bit, but it goes away. Everybody is banged up in some sort or fashion because you play a game every day. I get an opportunity there to keep him hopefully healthy and get Nicky an at-bat, who hasn’t had many. I’m going to do it.”
Showalter dismissed the suggestion that the Orioles salvaged the road trip by taking two of three games from Boston.
“We move on to Philadelphia,” he said, referring to tomorrow night’s game against the Phillies at Camden Yards. “We have a lot of work to do to prepare for them and this thing called interleague play. I know it’s going to be good for the fans. I know they like it. We’d like to have won tonight. We’d like to have played a little better. We’ll wake up tomorrow and still have some great opportunities for us. We’ll put this behind us, a place that we’ve done well. It didn’t work out tonight because we really got put on our heels early on. But we’ve got to fight through that, which we have before. But it’s not a good way emotionally or mentally to start a ballgame knowing you have to dig out of a hole against a guy who is on top of his game.”
NOTE: Shortstop/second baseman Adrian Marin, the Orioles’ third-round pick out of Gulliver Prep School in Miami, tweeted tonight that he’s signed a contract.