No runs and no win tonight for the Orioles at Boston

No runs, not many hits and no hit batters. That was part of the Orioles' scorecard tonight.

At least they didn't give up 10 runs this time.

The Orioles were held to just four hits and shut out for the fourth time on the season.

John Lackey entered his start against the Orioles tonight with an ERA of 7.47 on the year and a batting average against of .304. He had given up six runs or more in six of his 13 starts and gave up seven in his last outing versus Toronto. His home ERA on the year was 9.17.

But tonight he shut down the Orioles on three hits over 6 2/3 as Boston blanked the Orioles 4-0. Lackey also hit two batters, plunking Nick Markakis in the sixth and Derrek Lee in the seventh.

The first one could have been incidental, the last one seemed to be with clear intent. Both benches were warned after that one, even though the Orioles pitchers hit no one in the game.

Alfredo Simon shut out Boston through four innings but gave up three runs with two outs in the Boston fifth on a Kevin Youkilis RBI double and Josh Reddick two-run double.

The Orioles have now lost six in a row, 11 of 12 games and 20 of the last 26 to fall to 36-51 on the season.

The Orioles had few rallies in this game and went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and they are batting just .121 (7-for-58) when batting with RISP on this road trip.

They are 1-8 on this trip which, mercifully, has just one game left when the Orioles play at Boston on Sunday afternoon in the final game before the All-Star break.

Mitch Atkins is scheduled to start for the Orioles and Kyle Weiland for the Red Sox, who have now won nine of their past 10 games.

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