It’s not getting any easier for the Orioles.
They dropped two of three to the Red Sox and may not leave Camden Yards until 1 a.m. because of a flight issue, which puts their arrival in Detroit around 4 a.m. They have a 1:08 p.m. game against the Tigers.
Manager Buck Showalter tried to make light of it, just as he put a positive spin on Wei-Yin Chen’s performance tonight.
Chen allowed four runs and 12 hits, including 11 singles, in 5 2/3 innings in the Orioles’ 4-3 loss to the Red Sox.
“Pretty good,” Showalter said. “He gave us a good chance to win. I’m proud of him. He threw the ball pretty well, all things considered. We’ll take that. Scattered some hits. Three or four of them the cheap variety. I was proud of him. He did a nice job staying engaged in the game. No problem with his outing.
“Got some good innings out of the bullpen. Evan (Meek) kind of got the first-game deep breaths out of his way and came back a lot sharper tonight. And Zach (Britton) was real good, too. But their bullpen’s real tough. Didn’t have many opportunities.
“It’s more about their pitching. (Felix) Doubront was good again. Maybe that’s the common theme, but I look at the finished product with Wei-Yin. It was acceptable for the most part. He’ll want to do better, but you know you’re going to get well-pitched games against teams like Boston, and the team we’re getting ready to play, and New York. It is what it is. That’s why Boston and Detroit and of course New York have made a lot of additions.
“We pitched pretty well in this series for the most part and they pitched a little better.”
Showalter finds it easy to understand why the Red Sox were “the last team standing” in 2013.
“They pitched better than everybody else for the most part, and I don’t think I’m telling anybody anything they don’t know,” he said. “You pitch real well, you’ve got a chance to play extra games at the end of the year.”
The Orioles had three balls bounce off the fences, and Adam Jones barely missed a home run on a foul ball to left.
“That will even out,” Showalter said. “They hit some balls here that probably first game would have been home runs. Of course, they hit one that wouldn’t have been without the wind.
“The great thing about the length of our season, they kind of play out. If you’re good, you’ll be good, and if you’re not, you won’t be. Those types of things, they might be an immediate frustration, but you know the game will be true if you stay true to what you need to do. And our guys will.
“We played three games and engaged in all three and we’re going to face some good pitching the next six games, for sure.”
They faced former Oriole Koji Uehara again tonight and he recorded the save by getting three outs on seven pitches.
“They have grasped how to use him, number one,” Showalter said. “A lot of guys, you’ve heard about hitters who are ambush. He’s an ambush pitcher. One of the few I’ve seen. He spins the ball real well with his fastball. That’s why velocity doesn’t matter. I think they said he has more rotation on his fastball than anybody else. And from the time he releases it.
“(David) Ross is real solid and catchers figure out when to slow a guy down a little bit, a guy like Jonathan (Schoop). He slows them down with a get-me-over slider, and a split for the left-handers. He’s got a lot of weapons. And that’s a sharp knife. If you can ever get him in that 15-pitch margin, you’ve got a chance. He doesn’t really give you time to make the adjustments with the late life on the fastball, so you get ambushed by him early.”
One Boston run scored when left fielder Nelson Cruz dived for a ball from David Ortiz in the third inning, missed it by a wide margin and had it roll behind him. Jackie Bradley Jr. raced home from first base.
Should Cruz have pulled up and played the ball on one hop?
“It would be hindsight,” Showalter said. “The guy’s aggressive. He thinks he’s got a shot at it. You trust his judgment. We’re in a shift there. Ryan (Flaherty) decided to go to third base to cover. I don’t know if he would have had a better shot there or not. You guys could tell better overhead. That’s one of the things with the shift. You have to make a decision if you’re going to cover the bag or if you got a shot at the ball. I don’t think anybody thought he would score from first the way it kind of filtered back.
“Another three weeks, that ball won’t go anywhere. That field is playing as fast as it will all year because of the lack of much growing season with the grass. It’s real fast right now.”