Hess allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings tonight as Boston beat the Orioles 6-4 at Camden Yards. The Orioles are 19-47 with six consecutive losses. This is the third losing streak of at least six games this year.
Hess had allowed 10 runs in his first five major league starts and all 10 had scored on homers. That count grew to 13 tonight. Rafael Devers hit a two-run shot in the second. He hit a 92 mph fastball for his 10th on the year. When Andrew Benintendi hit a solo shot an inning later the lead grew to 3-1 on his 12th home run.
Boston’s lead became 5-2 in the fourth when Hess allowed two singles to start the inning and was replaced after a bases-loaded walk to Benintendi. That ended the run of allowing 13 runs on homers. Miguel Castro replaced him and balked in a run with the bases loaded for a 6-2 score.
Hess gave up five hits and walked four with two strikeouts. He allowed two more homers and has given up eight for the season. He falls to 2-3 with an ERA of 4.13. He threw 73 pitches, 39 for strikes.
His ERA is 11.25 in his two starts against Boston and 1.82 in his four other games. Over eight innings against the Red Sox, Hess has allowed 13 hits and 10 runs yielding five home runs. Before tonight, Hess had an ERA of 0.96 his previous three starts against Tampa Bay, Washington and Toronto.
The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the first when Joey Rickard hit his third career leadoff homer and the Orioles third this year. Trey Mancini had the first two. Rickard connected off Boston lefty Eduardo Rodriguez for his fourth homer of the year on a 2-2 fastball.
Danny Valencia delivered a two-out, RBI single to center in the third to bring the Orioles within 3-2 at that time. The Orioles had just one hit in their previous 39 at-bats over six games with runners in scoring position until that hit. Mark Trumbo’s two-out, two-run double to right off Craig Kimbrel in the ninth completed the scoring.
Rodriguez beat the Orioles for the third time in three starts this year. He went 5 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits and two runs to improve to 8-1 with an ERA of 3.64. Boston is 12-1 in his 13 starts for the season. Rodriguez is 3-0 with an ERA of 1.56 versus the Orioles in 2018.
The Orioles have lost 13 of 15 and 19 of their last 25 games. They are 1-11 in their last 12 games against Boston. Their offense has produced just 18 runs the last eight games and 47 in the past 21. The Orioles are 3-for-48 with runners in scoring position the past six games.
Hess on whether he struggled with his tempo: “Yeah, I felt like I was moving quicker than normal. I think that’s something going forward I need to recognize and adjust a little bit quicker. But I think that’s something we will work on going to the next start and we’ll make sure that’s something we are taking care of. Really, a lot of it today was a little bit of a mechanical thing we will work with Roger (McDowell) going forward. I think it will be something that’s correctable, so to say. I think it’s a minor adjustment, I think that’s something we can do. At the end of the day, if I execute some pitches a little bit better, I think the results are different. But that’s a good lineup. You got to be at your best going out there and tonight I wasn’t.”
Jonathan Schoop on his struggles this year: “I’ve just got to keep working and trying to make adjustments and find a way. No excuses. Just have to find a way to get it done. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but have to keep working hard and hopefully it clicks.”
Schoop on leaving 13 on the bases: “It’s pretty tough. We got bases loaded and didn’t score. You know, it’s tough. The pitchers, they want to get us out and we want to get hits. No one is trying to not do their job. We just have to keep working hard and hopefully things start going.”
Zach Britton on his three-walk scoreless seventh inning: “It was good to get in a game. Obviously, I was overthrowing everything today. Just excited and moving fast. Just hope to settle in and improve every time I get a chance to pitch. It was like nine months since I pitched in a big league game. Almost felt like my debut. Like an out-of-body experience. It was weird. Just happy to get through that one. I know that command is obviously not going to play. I can’t remember the last time I threw a ball to the backstop. So it was a weird one out there. Happy to get that out of the way.”
Britton on the walks: “Command was good on the rehab assignment. Hadn’t walked anyone and then walk three tonight. I think settling in is the biggest thing and getting comfortable again.”