BOSTON - The Orioles are below .500 for the first time since 2011. They’ve lost three games in a row.
Adam Jones isn’t concerned and he wonders why anyone would be at this early stage of the season.
“Seven games into the season,” he said. “I mean, seven games into the season. No one’s concerned.”
Are the Orioles badly in need of Tuesday’s off day after losing their last three games? Jones had a little fun with that one.
“We might spend it all day tomorrow crying as a team, holding each other’s hands, just walking through the Prudential Center, just crying,” Jones said.
“It’s seven games into the season. It’s not like we just got blown out. We got beat. One-run games, two-run games. It can go here, it can go there. We’re playing good baseball. We’ve got 155 more to go.
“The season’s not decided today, is it?”
So, what about that off day?
“Early in the year is not good to have an off day,” he said. “You’d rather have an off day later in the year when you actually need them. I think everybody’s (got) their first adrenaline of the season starting. It’ll be nice to just play the series out, but nobody ever complains about an off day.”
Jones couldn’t track down Mike Napoli’s fly ball in left-center field in the seventh because he ran out of real estate. The ball slammed off the wall for a double, moving Dustin Pedroia to third, and Daniel Nava followed with a three-run homer that broke a scoreless tie.
“He hit the ball, but in that area, you’ve seen it many times being here,” Jones said. “You don’t have to hit the ball the best to hit it off the wall. He hit it good, but it was in a deep spot. In most parks, you can get back and catch it, but there you’re just trying to play it off the wall. You’re asking yourself for a triple.”
Wei-Yin Chen was more upset with his pitch to Napoli than the fastball that Nava belted for the three-run homer.
“I don’t think that was a mistake to Nava,” Chen said through his interpreter, Tim Lin. “It was a mistake to Napoli on a 3-2 curveball.”
The fastball to Nava “was pretty good location,” Chen said. “It was the location I want. But he hits pretty well.”
Chen isn’t frustrated by his winless streak, which began in August.
“Not at all,” he said. “Our belief is just to go out and have fun and take care of business. Today, I didn’t help the team to win, but I tried to do my best.
“Compared with last outing, I feel like I’m getting better and better. But the baseball god is not with me today.”
Catcher Matt Wieters said Chen was “great” for six innings before Pedroia reached on the infield hit to begin the decisive rally.
“He’s a pesky little hitter and he’s going to find a way to get on,” Wieters said. “I probably could have gone hard on Napoli, but that was my fault there. He made a good pitch that Nava hit out. You have to give credit there that he hit a good pitch.”
Don’t expect Wieters to be wringing his hands over the current losing streak. He, too, had to remind reporters that the season is a week old.
“What are we, seven games in now?” he said. “I think we’ve got a few more to play. We’ve got a while to figure it out. But no, we want to get rolling and get back going.
“I think the big thing is you have to have those shutdown innings and we had some innings where we scored some runs and they scored one or two. There have been innings where the other team has scored runs and we haven’t been able to answer. And those are big innings in the course of the game and the course of the year. Hopefully, moving forward we’ll be able to improve on that.”
The Orioles will try to do so beginning on Wednesday.
“I think this off day is very much needed,” Wieters said. “The opening week can be very difficult with day game, night game, day game, things like that, so it’s nice to get a day off and get back in that normal schedule like it will be for the rest of the year.”