BOSTON - The Red Sox lineup can take a promising start and destroy it as if hooked to explosives. It can bring down a veteran pitcher or a prospect making his second major league start. And it won’t be gentle.
David Hess needed only seven pitches this afternoon to cruise through the fourth inning and keep the Orioles within a run, but it all came apart in the fifth. Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez hit two-run homers, the Orioles littered the bases and couldn’t convert, and the Red Sox claimed the series with a 5-0 victory at Fenway Park.
Martinez homered twice, his leadoff shot in the second the only scoring until the Red Sox batted around in the fifth, and the Orioles fell to 14-32 overall and 4-19 on the road. They’ve been shut out four times. They outhit the Red Sox 13-12, but the only extra-base hit was Jace Peterson’s leadoff double in the ninth.
The Orioles have lost four of their last five games and five of seven and are 17 1/2 games behind the Red Sox in the American League East.
Hess was charged with five runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings, with two walks, four strikeouts and three home runs. He threw 87 pitches, 58 for strikes. A first major league win is followed by the first loss.
Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez scattered nine singles over 5 2/3 innings. The Orioles put a runner on base in every inning against him and stranded 10.
Adam Jones had three singles on the day. Mark Trumbo led off the second inning with a single. Trey Mancini and Jones had back-to-back singles with one out in the third. Danny Valencia reached on a one-out error in the fourth and Andrew Susac - who caught Hess for the first time today - singled with two outs. Rodriguez struck out the side in the fifth, but Jones singled again. Valencia, Joey Rickard and Craig Gentry singled in the sixth, but Mancini flied out against reliever Heath Hembree to leave the bases loaded.
Gentry was 3-for-27 against left-handers until lining a single into right field.
Manny Machado reached on an infield hit with one out in the seventh and became the 11th runner stranded. Rickard and Gentry singled in the eighth and became the 12th and 13th - a season high for the Orioles.
Peterson was stuck at third base after his double, the 14th stranded runner. It isn’t easy to collect 13 hits and not score.
Opportunities weren’t lost, they were driven out to the country and pushed out the door.
The Orioles are 1-6 at Fenway Park this season. They return for a three-game series in the final week of the season.
Hess retired the side in order on only nine pitches in the first inning, getting a foul pop up and two ground balls, but Martinez wrapped a 94 mph fastball around the Pesky Pole in right field on the first pitch of the second.
Two runners were stranded in the inning after a walk and one-out single - Jackie Bradley Jr. struck out on a 94 mph fastball - and two more were stranded in the second after Mookie Betts’ leadoff double and a two-out intentional walk to Martinez.
Hess disposed of the Red Sox in the fourth on a strikeout and two ground balls to Mancini, starting at first base today. He had thrown 63 pitches,10 fewer than Rodriguez, but still no run support.
The lead grew to 3-0 in the fifth on Bradley’s leadoff double and Benintendi’s home run into the visiting bullpen. Hess got ahead of Benintendi 0-2, ran the count full and served up a 92.5 mph fastball that disappeared among the Orioles’ relievers.
Mike Wright Jr. began to warm after Mitch Moreland followed with an automatic double, and Martinez produced his eighth career multi-homer game with a two-run shot to center field on a 91 mph fastball.
Wright shut out the Red Sox over 2 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and walking three. The first two batters reached in the eighth, but Rule 5 pick Pedro Araujo struck out Moreland, Martinez and Rafael Devers.
Jones came out of the game in the seventh inning, with Peterson going to left field and Gentry moving to center. No explanation given for his removal.
The Orioles must decide whether to option Hess and bring up an extra reliever for their upcoming series against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field or perhaps give him another start in St. Petersburg, Fla. Miguel Castro could start if Hess is sent down or put in the bullpen.
Update: Today marked the second time in Orioles history that they were shut out on 13 or more hits and the first time over nine innings. It also happened on May 14, 1961 in Cleveland in a 15-inning game. They’re 3-4 this season while collected 13 or more hits.
The Dodgers are the last team in a nine-inning game to collect 13 or more hits without scoring, in a 5-0 loss on Aug. 25, 2008 versus the Phillies.
The Red Sox recorded their first shutout while allowing at least 13 hits since 1908.
Manager Buck Showalter on 13 hits and no runs: “It’s hard to get 13 hits and not score any runs. We had plenty of opportunities. I thought our guys did a good job off Eduardo. We just couldn’t get that big hit to open him up. That’s a tribute to him, but it’s frustrating.”
Showalter on Jones coming out of the game: “He’s sick. After the first inning, came in, not sure exactly. He fought through it. He was kidding, it kind of helped his approach. He wasn’t trying to do too much. That last at-bat, I thought he didn’t have any energy and that’s unusual for Adam. He was trying to play through it, which is not unusual for Adam, and just didn’t feel like we should push that anymore.
“Sometimes, you have the first really hot day like that. Who knows? It might be something you ate, could be a lot of things. But he may have thrown up once. He started to feel better a little bit and then he’d go right back, so I didn’t like it.”
Showalter on when he noticed Jones was sick: “He came in after, I noticed him coming off the field after defense in the bottom of the first and I asked him. He said he just felt like he had a bad stomach, OK? For lack of a better ... His stomach was all upset. For Adam, to say he had no energy should get your attention.”
Showalter on how Hess pitched: “OK, OK. You know? Same things we liked about him. Shows that last couple of years. He’s been on the map since we drafted him. Tough kid, ain’t afraid. The whole series, if you look where we’re trying to throw the ball and where it ended up, that’s why it ends up where it ends up. If you go back through, and we have, all those pitches, they’re just mistakes. We’re not getting the ball where we’re supposed to get it in the right sequence.”
Mancini on scoring 13 runs and being shut out: “Yeah, I didn’t even notice it until the last inning that we had accumulated that many hits. But, yeah, they were pretty sporadic and unfortunately we couldn’t really string a lot together or get it done with guys in scoring position.”
Mancini again on the 13-hit shutout: “I mean, things like that happen. I say this all the time, but in baseball you see something new every day. Yeah, that’s the first time I can remember not scoring a run with that many hits, so a lot of singles spread out and we never really got the big hit.”
Mancini on whether it’s getting more difficult as team struggles: “Yeah, that’s tough. You want to stay on a roll that you’re on. We dropped the game to the Phillies to end the homestand and then come here and drop three of four and then obviously that’s not ideal. But we’ve still got seven games on this road trip. You’ve just got to keep looking forward.”
Mancini on Hess: “Their offense is doing some big things over there right now. Martinez with two home runs. Pretty much the whole series, the way the goes opposite field and drives the ball that way is really impressive. He’s the type of guy who is hard to pitch to, but I thought David pitched well and just kind of in that last inning they had some big hits against him.”
Hess on fifth inning: “They definitely made some adjustments quick and you have to be able to adjust just as quick, because that’s a lineup that from top to bottom can be dangerous.”
Hess on pitching here: “It’s a cool experience for the first time. I think every time you go out there it hits you a little bit, but it’s definitely something that was good to get under the belt. I think going forward having this first time, I think will be big.”
Hess on what the week was like: “Any time they give me the ball, I want to go out and give them a chance to win. That was the biggest thing. Not being able to do that today is what hit hardest. Definitely looking forward to kind of getting into a routine. You always like that, but that’s pitching. You go out there and how you’re able to adjust makes a difference at the end of the day.”
Hess on no runs scored on 13 hits: “Credit those guys. The pitching staff did a good job. Most days when you have 13 hits, you’re put up a good amount of runs. I think it’s one of those days where things didn’t come together for us.”
Hess on Martinez’s home runs: “He’s a pretty astounding guy sometimes. I went back and looked at film afterwards. The way he was able to deal with those balls was impressive. I think it’s something to put in memory and move forward and go from there.
“The Benintendi home run, I think I hit my spot where I wanted to. Just not quite the execution that we were looking for. It was a good pitch. It was what we wanted. He just beat us on it.”