Closing Time: Lineup listless again as Red Sox get shut out by Orioles

June 11, 2014 - 7:37 pm

BALTIMORE -- The reality is that the Red Sox are very lucky to be returning home from their nine-game road trip with the two wins that they claimed. The Red Sox were one swing away from a loss to the Tigers on Sunday night, and in Baltimore, their lone run in the three-game series was sufficient to allow them to salvage a 1-0 win as their lone victory against the Orioles. Otherwise, the Red Sox drifted through three offensively listless games, capped by Wednesday night's 6-0 loss to Wei-Yin Chen and the Birds. Chen was perfect through 11 hitters before finally yielding an opposite-field single to Dustin Pedroia with two outs in the fourth -- though Pedroia was thrown out trying to stretch the hit to a double. Even so, that represented one of the most sustained rallies that the Sox had on a night when they managed just four hits (all singles), and where Chen blitzed through seven scoreless innings before leaving after a lengthy rain delay. The Sox' struggles with runners in scoring position were minimized on Wednesday by the fact that they had virtually no runners in scoring position, going 0-for-2 in such opportunities. The Red Sox are now averaging 3.91 runs per game this year, a mark that ranks 13th in the American League. The three-game set marked the first time since 2008 that the Sox have endured three straight contests in which they scored one or no runs. They return home armed with a 29-36 record after a 2-7 road trip that easily could have been an 0-9 affair. WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX -- For the first time this year, the Red Sox had neither a walk nor an extra-base hit in the same game. It marked the fifth time this season that the Red Sox failed to negotiate a single walk. -- Brock Holt went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and grounded into his first double play of the year, snapping his 10-game hitting streak. During the run, Holt hit .413/.438/.609. -- Xander Bogaerts went 0-for-4, and is now 0-for-16 in his last four games. In that time, his average has plummeted from .299 to .278, with his OBP sinking from .387 to .365. -- Reliever Chris Capuano had a dreadful inning of work, allowing a pair of hits (a single and double) while walking three, including two with the bases loaded. WHAT WENT WRONG AND RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX -- Rubby De La Rosa got off to a dreadful start in the first inning, as the Orioles jumped on him in the first inning for three runs by the time their first four batters had stepped to the plate. Nick Markakis drilled a first-pitch single to open the game, Adam Jones drilled a resounding double on a 1-0 changeup to score Markakis and Chris Davis launched a changeup into the stands in right. From there, however, De La Rosa settled. He gave up one more run on just four more hits (all singles) and one walk over his next five innings while punching out seven. Though his line -- four runs in 5 2/3 innings -- was hardly impressive, he was dominant for the lion's share of the outing. In three starts, De La Rosa has a 3.86 ERA while punching out 20 and walking just four in 18 1/3 innings. He's still getting groundouts in volume. However, after not giving up a single homer in his first 11 starts of the year (10 in Triple-A, one in the big leagues), he's yielded three in his last two outings. WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX -- Dustin Pedroia snapped a three-game hitless (0-for-10) stretch by going 2-for-3. -- Xander Bogaerts made a tremendous play to end the fifth, ranging far to his left on a two-out ground ball, diving and making a quick, sharp backhand flip to second base to record the inning-ending force out. The runner at second (catcher Nick Hundley) was initially ruled safe, but a challenge (which lasted 1:15) led to an overturn of the initial call on the field. He subsequently made another fine play on a swinging bunt, charging and fielding the ball barehanded before firing to first for the out.