Orioles drop another close game

BOSTON - The Baltimore Orioles were never below .500 last season. They didn't have a losing streak of more than three games after late July.

A week into the 2013 season, the Orioles have that losing streak, and they're now a game below .500 for the first time since the end of 2011.

Baltimore's 3-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox before 37,008 at Fenway Park Monday was frustrating because for the third straight day, it was a game the Orioles could have won.

Wei-Yin Chen pitched brilliantly for six innings, allowing just two singles, but in the seventh, he gave up a three-run home run to Daniel Nava.

The Orioles didn't score until Adam Jones led off the ninth with a home run.

"Seven games into the season. I mean seven games into the season. No one's concerned," Jones said.

On Tuesday, the Orioles have a day off, and it's welcomed by Jones, who sarcastically dismissed any signs of panic.

"We might spend it all day tomorrow crying as a team, holding each other's hands, just walking through the Prudential Center, just crying. It's seven games into the season. It's not like we just got blown out. We got beat. One-run games, two-run games. It can go here. It can go there. We're playing good baseball. We've got 155 more to go," Jones said.

The first week has featured Chris Davis' heroics, which were recognized when he was named the American League Player of the Week for his four home runs and record-setting 16 RBIs in his first four games. No such heroics occurred Monday.

Clay Buchholz (2-0) held the Orioles to just three hits in seven innings. He walked four and struck out eight, but Chen (0-1) matched him until the seventh.

Dustin Pedroia led off with a single. Mike Napoli doubled off the left field wall, and with one out, Nava hit his second home run of the season for a 3-0 lead.

Chen hasn't won since last Aug. 19, a stretch of nine straight starts. He said he's not getting frustrated with his lack of wins.

"Not at all. Our belief is just to go out and have fun and take care of business. Today I didn't help the team to win but I tried to do my best," Chen said through his translator.

Manager Buck Showalter was impressed with Chen's outing.

"He was great. One mistake. We didn't do much offensively and both guys pitched really well up to that point without much margin for error," Showalter said. "Boy, I was real proud of Wei-Yin. Lot of things working against him and he gave us a real good chance to win. I wish we could have gotten one for him. He deserved a W today."

The bottom of the batting order continues to hurt the Orioles. Second baseman Ryan Flaherty and designated hitter Steve Pearce are a combined 0-for-24, but Showalter said the team is unlikely to make a move this early in the season.

Andrew Bailey pitched the eighth for the Red Sox (5-2) and Joel Hanrahan gave up the home run to Jones and a two-out double to Hardy before retiring Flaherty on a pop out to end the game.

NOTES: Nolan Reimold was held out a day after he came out of Sunday's game complaining of a tight right hamstring. He says he could have played, but should be ready to play Wednesday. Showalter said that he's more likely to play Thursday against left-handed starter Felix Doubront. ... Luis Ayala flew to Boston Sunday night after being checked at a local hospital when he complained of dizziness. ... Steve Johnson, who's on the 15-day disabled list with a back injury, is nearly ready to return, Showalter said. ...The Orioles' last three-game losing streak came July 23-25.

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