Despite their best start in club history, the Orioles were eventually going to lose a game, and their seven-game winning streak to open the season ended Wednesday night with a 4-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
“I'm proud, we won the series,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “We won two out of three in the American League East on the road against a team we all know is going to be pretty good this year. We're real proud of that. Now we move on.”
The Orioles' bats went cold in the Boston chill as they were unable to break through against Red Sox right-hander Joe Kelly, who tight-roped through trouble throughout his start.
They put 12 runners on base against Kelly — seven hits and five walks — but managed just two runs over the starter's five innings.
The Orioles stranded nine base runners against Kelly, including the bases loaded in the second inning, when leadoff hitter Joey Rickard hit into an inning-ending fielder's choice.
J.J. Hardy opened that inning with a blast that hit off the center-field fence, but he was thrown out attempting to extend the hit for a triple.
With the Orioles up 2-0 on Chris Davis' two-run homer in the third, Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run double into the left-field corner off Ubaldo Jimenez, who let the first four batters he faced in the third reach base.
The Red Sox made Jimenez pay for a leadoff walk in the fourth when Jackie Bradley Jr.'s run-scoring triple to right drove in Brock Holt, who drew a six-pitch free pass to open the inning. Bradley then scored on Mookie Betts' RBI groundout to give the Red Sox a 4-2 lead.
In the sixth inning, Manny Machado hit a two-out double off Boston reliever Matt Barnes, but he was thrown out attempting to steal third with Davis at the plate.
“There's going to be nights, I tell the guys all the time, if you feel something, go for it,” Showalter said. “Whether it's J.J. trying to stretch a double, whether it's Manny in that situation, some of the things that allowed us to get to 7-0 didn't work out for us tonight. I want our guys to trust what they're feeling. You have to tip your hat. ... They've got a long chain from the sixth inning on that they were able to do the job out of a very pitcher-friendly night.”
Davis crushes one over the Monster
Davis hit his team-high fourth homer of the season in the third inning, taking a 94-mph fastball from Kelly over the Green Monster in left field.
Davis was sitting on the fastball on a 3-0 count and sent it the opposite way for his second homer off the series. Davis drove in seven runs in the series.
His home run Wednesday was his seventh in 31 games at Fenway Park since the beginning of the 2013 season.
Davis' home run was the Orioles' 14th in their first eight games. That included six homers in this three-game series.
Kim playing patiently
South Korean outfielder Hyun Soo Kim received his second start of the season and showed the plate discipline that made him one of the Korean Baseball Organization's most patient hitters.
Kim drew walks in each of his first two plate appearances against Kelly. He was 2-for-3 in his major league debut in Sunday's 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Machado leads hit parade
Machado had three hits on the night, giving him four multihit efforts in his first eight games. Machado hit safely in all eight games this season.
Machado also scored on Davis' homer, giving him runs in seven of the Orioles' eight games.
Despite scoring only two runs Wednesday, the Orioles have at least eight hits in each of their first eight games, extending a new franchise record. The Orioles had at least eight hits in each of their first six games in 1993.