The Boston Red Sox collided with a worst-case umpiring scenario in the fourth inning of Memorial Day’s 11-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

With the bases loaded and trailing the Orioles by a feasible 2-0 deficit to start the fourth inning, Boston struck out in consecutive at-bats. First baseman Dominic Smith disapproved of the called third strike from home plate umpire Andy Fletcher. But the Red Sox aren’t paying much mind to the several questionable calls moving forward.

“We just gotta keep moving the line. The pitch zone, borderline probably, right? 50-50,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “We did some good things. We didn’t cash in, of course, but I think if we can stay patient and swing at the right ones, good things are gonna happen.”

Boston failed to overcome the debatable finish in its half of the fourth inning at the plate and then surrendered five runs to Baltimore to end the frame. When opportunities presented themselves, the Red Sox weren’t ready. The lineup went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and had it not been for a Romy González triple in the eighth inning, Boston would’ve been shut out by the Orioles.

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Now a third deep into the season, the Red Sox are an even 27-27, sitting in the middle of the pack in the American League East. Yet, the club senses something greater on the rise as the season progresses.

“We’re right at .500, third in the division, right there in the wild card,” outfielder Rob Refsnyder said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “Obviously, I think all of us can agree that we’d like to be playing better. Offensively, we just need to catch some breaks and just keep having better at-bats, honestly. Probably (with) guys in scoring position, we need to do a better job at capitalizing on that. … I think a breakthrough is coming.”

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Here are more notes from Monday’s Red Sox-Orioles game:
— Boston starting pitcher Cooper Criswell allowed six earned runs off six hits to Baltimore through four innings, striking out two.

“They got a good lineup, but we had a good game plan going into it,” Criswell said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “Just didn’t execute it.”

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— The Red Sox have gone 4-7 when playing teams in the division, hitting .212 with a minus-14 run differential and recording a 5.19 bullpen ERA. Boston’s also gone a winless this season against the Orioles in four games.

— The second-place Orioles took an eight-game lead over the Red Sox, winning their season-best fifth consecutive game.

— The Red Sox and Orioles will play the second of three in Baltimore on Tuesday night. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. ET, and you can watch the game, plus a full hour of pregame coverage, live on NESN. 

Featured image via Mitch Stringer/USA TODAY Sports Images