Orioles offense starts slow again in 6-4 loss to Red Sox

Hess gets through start without surrendering a walk

April 13, 2019 - 12:39 am

By Jake McDonnell

The Orioles began their second road trip of the 2019 season with a 6-4 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Baltimore has now dropped four in a row and eight out of their last nine.

Until Hanser Alberto’s fifth inning two out single to left field, former Orioles prospect Eduardo Rodriguez was breezing through his third start of the season. In both of Rodriguez’s prior two starts he allowed at least five runs and didn’t pitch past the fifth inning. His fortune changed on Friday, as the left hander struck out eight Orioles with no walks.

Aside from Alberto’s single, the two other hits Rodriguez allowed came in the seventh inning when Trey Mancini doubled and Dwight Smith Jr. hit his second home run of the season. Smith’s long ball landed in familiar Fenway territory to Orioles fans - by the ‘pesky pole’ in right field. The second two-run Orioles bomb came with one out in the ninth inning when Renato Nunez blasted Tyler Thornburg’s 94-MPH fastball over the ‘Green Monster’ wall in left-center field.

David Hess’s third start of the season wasn’t as dominant as his 6.1 no-hit effort in Toronto, but he pitched a decent game and gave the Orioles a chance to win. Andrew Bentintendi’s solo shot in the third inning tallied the 38th homer that Baltimore pitchers surrendered this season. However, Hess and the bullpen did not let Boston hit any more long balls from that point on.

Over 5.2 innings Hess threw 81 pitches on Friday night, 49 for strikes. He allowed three runs on six hits and three strikeouts. Considering Dylan Bundy and Andrew Cashner hold ERA’s above 5.00, along with Alex Cobb currently on the 10-day injured list, Hess figures to be the Orioles best starting pitcher at this point. With no run support, limiting a talented Boston lineup to three runs in just under six innings is certainly something Hess can hang his hat on until his next outing.

“For me, the biggest thing is just feeling like I kind of let the team down in a way,” Hess said after the game. “Going out there, coming out of the game down 3-0, I put that on myself more than anything because we have a good group of hitters. They’re gonna put up runs, they're gonna take care of business, and so I try to do the same on my end. At the end of the day, I just need to be a little bit better.”

After Benintendi’s solo homer, the Red Sox played small ball to manufacture the rest of their six runs. Eduardo Nunez hit two separate RBI singles and Xander Bogaerts contributed a one-run double. Jackie Bradley Jr.’s eighth inning sacrifice fly capped off the Red Sox’ attacks on young Baltimore relievers Paul Fry and Evan Phillips.

The four-game series at Fenway Park continues tomorrow at 1:05 pm. Cashner, who won his second game of the season on Monday against Oakland, will toe the rubber against Rick Porcello, who’s 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA.

Notes from the farm

Throughout the minor league system, three notable pitching prospects started tonight.

  • 2016 second-round pick Keegan Akin tossed six innings at Triple-A Norfolk tonight against the Mud Hens. In Norfolk’s 6-5 win Akin threw 78 pitches, 65 for strikes. He allowed two runs on four hits, two walks, and four strikeouts. Left fielder DJ Stewart hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning, and catcher Chance Sisco drove in two runs on a third inning single.
  • At Double-A Bowie, Hunter Harvey made his second start of the season as the Bay Box fell to the Harrisburg Senators 4-2. Harvey threw 77 pitches, giving up four runs on three hits, three walks, and six strikeouts. In both of Harvey’s starts he has not made it past 4.2 innings while throwing at least 77 pitches in each appearance. It should be noted that the four runs Harvey yielded on Friday came on a third inning grand slam by Washington Nationals infield prospect Drew Ward.
  • Single-A Delmarva took down the Lakewood BlueClaws 5-3 Friday night. Grayson Rodriguez, the 11th overall pick in the 2018 draft, struck out 10 and allowed just one hit and three walks in six scoreless innings. This follows Rodriguez’s first start of the season on April 5. Also a scoreless outing, Rodriguez struck out 10 and allowed just two hits and two walks over five innings.

Follow Jake on Twitter @JMcDonnell95