Orioles fall under .500 for the first time since the final day of 2011 with loss at Boston

Last season, the Orioles never once fell under the .500 mark on their way to 93 wins and the playoffs. They won’t be able to say that about this year.

The Orioles are now 3-4 and lost their third straight game today as Boston won its home opener 3-1 over the Orioles at Fenway Park. It’s the first three-game losing streak for the O’s since last July 23-25.

The Orioles, who scored 29 runs in their first four games, had gone 15 consecutive innings without a run until Adam Jones’ solo homer off Joel Hanrahan leading off the ninth. The Orioles have scored just nine runs during the three-game losing streak.

Orioles batters struck out 11 times today.

Through the first six innings this afternoon, the Red Sox had just two singles and had not even put a runner into scoring position on Wei-Yin Chen, who was at 87 pitches.

But Chen, who had an ERA of 6.75 in the seventh inning last year, was finally scored upon in the Boston seventh.

Dustin Pedroia led off with an infield single up the middle and Mike Napoli doubled, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Chen then fanned Will Middlebrooks, but Daniel Nava then hit a three-run homer to left on a 1-1 pitch to end the scoreless tie. It was his second homer.

Chen’s final line showed him allowing five hits and the three runs over 6 1/3 innings as he falls to 0-1. He has gone winless over his last nine regular-season starts since beating Detroit last Aug. 19.

Clay Buchholz, who had pitched to an ERA of 2.67 over his last nine starts against the Orioles, blanked them today on three hits over seven innings with eight strikeouts to improve to 2-0 with an ERA of 0.64.

First-place Boston improved to 5-2 and won its home opener for the ninth straight season, the longest streak in the major leagues. Boston is 17-4 in home openers since 1993. The Orioles had gone 13-5 against the Red Sox last season, including a 7-2 mark in Boston.

So a scoreless pitchers’ duel ended in the seventh inning today and Boston went on to win and the Orioles are still waiting for their first win since Friday’s home opener.

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