Some stats, facts and commentary after a loss at Boston

They fall at Fenway: Boston's run against the O's bullpen in the 8th Friday gave the Sox a 4-3 win over the Orioles. The game starts a stretch of 12 straight vs. the Red Sox and Yankees.

The Birds fall to 2-15 on the year with four losses in a row. They are 1-7 with two games left on the road trip.

The Orioles, who went 2-16 last year vs. Boston, are 1-14 in their last 15 games at Fenway Park. They have lost nine in a row vs. Boston since a win on 7-26-09. Boston is 20-2 vs. the Orioles since 9-1-08.

Steve said: The fans must be beyond frustrated at this point, whatever that word is.

In a close game, the O's made mistakes that led to another loss.

*The bullpen issued three straight walks with two outs and a man on third in the 8th.

*Miguel Tejada's error in the 5th led to a run.

*Garrett Atkins stranded eight runners on base in his first three at bats.

*Nick Markakis singled with one out in the ninth, but got thrown out by Bill Hall in left trying for a double.

*The Orioles went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base. They have scored three runs or less 13 times this year and are 0-13 in those games.

*The O's bullpen issued a season-high five walks in two innings Friday. The O's pen threw a combined 41 pitches in the game, just 13 for strikes. The pen had walked a total of five batters over their previous six games.

*On the night, O's pitchers walked seven without a strikeout and threw 145 pitches, 73 for strikes.

Guts was gutty: Jeremy Guthrie allowed three runs on five hits in six innings. He gave up a solo homer, a bloop single and three infield hits. Guthrie threw 104 pitches and his ERA is now 3.46.

He has recorded four quality starts (3 ER or less in 6 IP or more) in four outings this year. Last season, he picked up his fourth quality start in his tenth outing.

After fanning 14 batters over his first three starts, Guthrie went without a strikeout tonight.

The Orioles have scored just 10 runs in Guthrie's four starts. O's starters have recorded nine quality starts on the year.

The Orioles had their chances, but did not score vs. their nemesis, Jon Lester. He pitched 5 2/3 scoreless,
allowing four hits and four walks.

The Orioles loaded the bases twice without scoring against him.

Lester, who gave up seven runs vs. Tampa in his last start, lowered his career ERA to 2.22 vs. Baltimore. He went 4-0, 1.65 last year vs. the Birds. He did not get a decision tonight, but is 10-0 in 13 career starts vs. Baltimore.

They may be turning it around: Boston, off to its worst start since 1996, improved to 7-10 and 4-7 at home. The Sox have won three of their last four.

Adam Jones two-run homer in the 7th tonight pulled the O's within 3-2 and was his first homer since Opening Night. Jones snapped an 0 for 15 stretch with that blast.

Nick Markakis went 2 for 5 with a double and is 8 for 22 over his last five games. He has five multi-hit games in his last ten contests. Miguel Tejada returned to the lineup after missing four games and had two hits. He is 5 for 7 his last two games. Matt Wieters is now 9 for 25 during a six-game hitting streak.

Garrett Atkins has just six hits his last 38 at bats and Luke Scott has just one hit his last 20 at bats. Nolan Reimold is 2 for 16.

Saturday night at 7:10, it's Brian Matusz (2-0, 4.34) facing John Lackey (1-1, 5.62). Matusz is 7-2, 4.55 in 11 career starts and the Orioles are 7-4 in those games. He has recorded five of the Orioles last 13 wins. Matusz has never pitched vs. Boston.

In the minors Friday night, Chris Tillman gave up three runs and seven hits over eight innings and got the win as Norfolk beat Charlotte, 5-3. Tillman threw 90 pitches. Brandon Snyder, Michael Aubrey and Adam Donachie hit solo homers.

Read this amazing story about the heroism of some passengers on a cross country flight that included former big league manager Kevin Kennedy. It might take your thoughts off the O's for a few minutes.

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