The Boston Red Sox left Fenway Park on June 1 riding high. A lot has changed.
The Red Sox, who won seven straight before embarking on a nine-game road trip, capped their excursion away from Fenway with a 6-0 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday at Camden Yards. Boston went 2-7 on the trip and looked eerily similar to the struggling club that dropped 10 in a row before its Memorial Day victory over the Atlanta Braves.
“We haven?t been swinging the bats good,” Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said, attempting to place his finger on Boston?s biggest flaw. “It seems like when we do hit the ball well, it?s right at somebody or (when) we get a rally going, we find a way to stop it quick. You?ve got to keep fighting through it. That?s all we can do.”
The Red Sox offense has struggled for much of this season. The story was no different as the Sox swung through Cleveland, Detroit and Baltimore over the last week and a half. Boston averaged just 2.5 runs per game and manufactured just one tally during its three-game series against Baltimore.
“One run in 27 innings is extremely difficult,? Red Sox manager John Farrell said following Wednesday?s loss. “You credit (the Orioles?) pitching, you credit inning-ending double plays three different times tonight. We had big opportunities yesterday that we left a number of men on base, particularly in the early innings. We?ve got to do a better job offensively all the way around.”
The Red Sox were shut down by Bud Norris in Monday?s series opener against the Orioles, mustering up just three hits in a 4-0 loss. The Sox were fortunate enough to squeak out a 1-0 win in Tuesday’s middle game behind a solid effort from Brandon Workman and the bullpen, but Wednesday brought more goose eggs, with Boston managing just four hits against Wei-Yin Chen and the Baltimore relief corps.
“Get hits,” Pedroia said while searching for a solution to the club?s offensive woes. “There?s really nothing more you can say. (Chen) pitched great tonight, he had great stuff, we couldn’t get anything going off him.”
Pedroia produced two of Boston?s four hits Wednesday, but it was hardly enough. The Orioles coasted to victory following a three-run first inning against Red Sox starter Rubby De La Rosa. Baltimore?s biggest opponent was the elements, as a one hour, 38 minute rain delay interrupted what was an otherwise easy win for the O?s.
Boston’s series in Baltimore marked the first time since 2008 that the Sox produced one run or less in three straight games. The Red Sox now are averaging 3.9 runs per game overall this season, which ranks 13th in the American League.
Brock Holt?s 10-game hit streak was snapped Wednesday, Xander Bogaerts is hitless in his last 16 at-bats, David Ortiz is hitting just .157 (14-for-89) since May 14, the outfield still isn’t doing anything and Stephen Drew remains out of the lineup. It?s hard to envision an uglier scenario, although the Red Sox are fortunate to return home with two wins in their back pocket.
The Red Sox left Boston riding high. They?re returning home trying to avoid a crash landing.