The Red Sox weren’t at their best Wednesday afternoon, but manager Alex Cora is opting to look at the bright side with his team getting a day off before returning to Fenway Park.
Boston dropped the series finale against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Red Sox came into Wednesday having won three series in a row, but they were unable to secure a fourth straight.
Tanner Houck’s form dipped, and he suffered his first loss of the season. The right-hander had two strikeouts and two walks in five innings, and Houck gave up four runs off seven hits.
“… I think overall, it was five good innings, threw a lot of strikes, quality stuff,” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “Some days are gonna be like that. The bottom part of the lineup did an outstanding job getting on base and scoring and put us in a bad spot.”
Boston was 10-9 through a 19-game stretch without a day off. It had a team batting average of .250 with a plus-8 run differential, according to NESN’s postgame coverage. The starters had a 5.89 ERA, and the bullpen had a 3.71 ERA.
“It was a good road trip,” Cora said. “We went there and that’s a pretty good team in Milwaukee. And this is a good team. We split on the road. Now we go home, just keep playing good baseball.”
On the state of the American League East, Cora added: “We’ve been here since 2018, and every team now has taken a step forward. And hopefully, we’re there too. Toronto is great, they have a good team. New York is a good team, and the (Tampa Bay) Rays are great. Just gotta keep grinding. It’s 162, and I think we’ve done an outstanding job in 19 straight games. …”
Here are more notes from Wednesday’s Red Sox-Orioles
— Boston moved to 3-3 against Baltimore this season. Red Sox batters have a .292 batting average with a plus-1 run differential, according to NESN’s postgame coverage. The starters have a 7.90 ERA, and the bullpen have a 5.11 ERA. It’s stats Cora likely would want to improve upon as the season unfolds.
— Baltimore starter Tyler Wells came into the game as the major league leader in WHIP at 0.69. The right-hander struck out seven batters and only walked one, which shifted his WHIP to 0.72 after Wednesday.
— Masataka Yoshida extended his six-game hitting streak to seven games with a second-inning home run. The left fielder came into the game batting 12-for-24 with a double, two home runs and nine RBIs.
— Jarren Durran also continued his hot streak with a 2-for-4 outing. Both of his singles had exit velocities of over 106 mph, according to Baseball Savant.. The 26-year-old came into Wednesday batting .389 with five RBIs.
— The Orioles lineup featured seven lefties against Tanner Houck. It likely was a purposeful move from manager Brandon Hyde because left-handed batters are slashing .250/.340/.523 against Houck, which is a contrast to right-handed batters slashing .212/.250/.242, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.
— Brennan Bernardino went out for his second game of the 2023 season. He pitched one scoreless inning and recorded two strikeouts.
— The Red Sox will face the Cleveland Guardians on Friday at Fenway Park. First pitch is scheduled at 7:10 p.m. ET, and you can catch all the action on NESN, including an hour of pregame coverage.