Even without the rainy conditions that enveloped Sunday’s series finale between the Orioles and Boston Red Sox, Baltimore has not played its best defense this season at Fenway Park.
The trend continued in the Orioles’ final game this year in the iconic ballpark, a sloppy 7-3 loss that ended their seven-game winning streak as the Red Sox dodged a sweep. Five of the runs Baltimore (90-52) allowed were unearned. After going more than a month without making multiple errors, the Orioles have done so in consecutive games, with Sunday marking their third contest with at least three. Four of their 11 games this season with more than one error have been in Boston. In all, they made 10 errors in six games at Fenway Park.
The loss, paired with the Tampa Bay Rays’ victory over the Seattle Mariners, reduced Baltimore’s lead in the American League East to three games with 20 contests to play. The Orioles entered the day with their magic number to clinch a playoff spot at five.
Sunday’s contest began after a 42-minute rain delay and went on even as droplets fell until the bottom of the eighth inning, when another delay began. After another 88 minutes, the game resumed. Right-hander Joey Krehbiel covered the frame’s three outs around the stoppage and stranded a runner at third base after a throwing error from catcher Adley Rutschman to prevent another unearned run.
Boston (73-70) scored the game’s final seven runs after Baltimore scored three runs in the second on an infield single by Aaron Hicks and a two-run triple from Adam Frazier. An error from Gold Glove third baseman Ramón Urías led to two unearned runs in the third inning off rookie right-hander Grayson Rodriguez, who gave up hits to three of the first four batters in the fourth as the Red Sox took a 4-3 lead.
Rodriguez exited with one out in the fifth, his first time failing to complete that frame in 10 starts since rejoining the Orioles’ rotation in mid-July after a return to Triple-A. The 23-year-old has a 2.95 ERA in that time, averaging just under six innings per start.
Cole Irvin stranded a runner on Rodriguez’s account to end the fifth, but first baseman Ryan O’Hearn’s fielding error extended the sixth, leading to Tristan Casas’ three-run home run that broke the game open. It was the only hit Irvin allowed in 2 2/3 innings.
The Orioles’ offense rarely threatened after the second inning, striking out nine times while getting only one at-bat with a runner in scoring position. Frazier was thrown out at second trying to extend a single to open the fifth inning, and after Rutschman doubled with two outs, Gunnar Henderson popped out. Baltimore did not record a hit over the final four innings.
This story will be updated.
Cardinals at Orioles
Monday, 6:35 p.m.
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