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Orioles rookie David Hess schooled by Red Sox in 6-4 loss

After David Hess faced the Boston Red Sox last month at Fenway Park, he took many lessons from his second major league start, none more important than the fact that pitches left over the plate will easily leave the ballpark.

He allowed three homers that night to one of baseball’s best batting orders, but in the three starts that followed, Hess was sharp, posting quality starts in each outing as it became apparent that he learned something from that rocky outing in Boston.

But facing the Red Sox again Tuesday night — this time at a half-filled Camden Yards — Hess wouldn’t get out of the fourth inning in the Orioles’ 6-4 loss in the shortest outing of his brief major league tenure.

“That’s a great lineup,” Hess said. “You look at what they were able to do, they were able to capitalize on some mistakes. At the end of the day, if I execute some pitches a little bit better, I think the results are different. But that’s a good lineup. You got to be at your best going out there and tonight I wasn’t.”

The Orioles are a major league worst 19-47, and have lost six straight games and 13 of their past 15. They are 1-8 against the Red Sox.

Hess allowed two homers Tuesday — a two-run shot to Rafael Devers in the second inning and a solo blast to Andrew Benintendi in the third — but the composure that Hess has shown through his first month with the Orioles was absent as he allowed nine base runners (five hits and a career-high four walks).

The biggest compliment Hess was paid through his first five starts was that he displayed a unique aggressiveness in attacking hitters and pounding the strike zone, but he left his sixth big league start Tuesday after allowing a run following a bases-loaded walk to Benintendi.

Hess allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings in what was the worst outing of his major league career. Despite recording 14 of 20 first-pitch strikes, he found himself in too many deep counts.

“He’s coming in pitching so well,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Been so happy with him, the way he’s pitched up here. Just command got away from him. We walked, what, seven, eight guys? I count the intentional walk because we were 3-0. And hit a batter. That’s a lot of base runners to give a good-hitting team. But it seemed like he was a little quick tonight. He’s always been a get-down-the-hill guy and it seemed like he was a little out of sync. Tempo was a little different tonight.”

In six big league starts, Hess has allowed eight homers, and 13 of the 15 runs he’s allowed have come by the home run.

After receiving an early lead on Joey Rickard’s leadoff homer in the bottom of the first, Hess gave it back in the top of the second. He issued a five-pitch walk to Xander Bogaerts, then elevated a 2-1 fastball to Devers that went over the right-center-field fence.

Andrew Benintendi jumped on a 1-1 changeup in the third inning, sending it over the center-field wall to put the Red Sox up 3-1.

The Orioles scraped a run together in the bottom of that inning on Danny Valencia’s two-out RBI single, but Hess gave it back by allowing singles to three of the first four batters he faced in the fourth. His bases-loaded walk to Benintendi knocked him out of the game.

“Yeah, I felt like I was moving quicker than normal,” Hess said. “I think that’s something going forward I need to recognize and adjust a little bit quicker. But I think that’s something we will work on going to the next start and we’ll make sure that’s something we are taking care of.”

Reliever Miguel Castro allowed another run to score that inning on his major league-leading third balk of the season.

Both of the homers Hess allowed were hit by left-handed hitters. Five of the nine lefties he faced reach base, and lefties are batting .305 off him this season.

Former Orioles farmhand Eduardo Rodríguez allowed 10 base runners (eight hits and two walks) in 5 2/3 innings, but he held the Orioles to two runs.

eencina@baltsun.com

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