BOSTON - The Baltimore Orioles started their most important road trip of the season with one of their worst games of the season.
Wei-Yin Chen allowed a career-high eight runs in his shortest outing as the Boston Red Sox easily beat the Orioles 13-2 before 36,226 at Fenway Park on Tuesday night.
The 13 runs were the most Baltimore (70-60) allowed, and the 11-run margin of defeat equaled the largest of the season.
"This is probably the worst game of my career," Chen said through his translator. "I have to apologize to my team. I didn't want to hurt my team."
The Orioles need to go on an extended run. They have two more games in Boston, three in New York against the Yankees and another three in Cleveland.
Baltimore trails Boston (78-55) by 6 ½ games in the American League East and Oakland by 3 ½ for the final Wild Card spot.
"I just thank goodness it was one night," manager Buck Showalter said.
The Orioles took a 2-1 lead in the third against Felix Doubront (10-6). Brian Roberts' bases-loaded walk scored one run and Manny Machado's sacrifice fly a second.
After that, Baltimore had just two singles.
"Losing 2-1 hurts a little more than losing 13-2, so stop crying," Adam Jones said.
Shane Victorino drove in a career-high seven runs on two home runs and a double. Mike Napoli also homered against Chen (7-7), who has allowed six home runs in his past three starts. In his first 14, he gave up just six.
"I don't want to comment on that. Just a lot of hitters swinging the bat really well," Chen said.
The Red Sox scored a run in the first, two in the third and five in the fourth to drive Chen out.
In 3 2/3 innings, Chen allowed eight runs on eight hits. He walked three, struck out five and hit Victorino with a pitch.
Miguel Gonzalez, who's scheduled to start Friday, relieved Chen. Troy Patton allowed a three-run home run to Victorino in the fifth and Brian Matusz allowed two runs in the seventh.
"A loss is a loss at this point in the year. We're fighting for the playoffs, so we're just trying to rack up some wins," Matt Wieters said.
NOTES: The Orioles activated Wilson Betemit from the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday. Betemit, who was injured in the last week of spring training, has yet to play this season with a severely sprained right knee.
Betemit completed his 20-day rehab assignment, and Baltimore had no choice but to activate him.
"I'm able to run. That's why I am here. If I was not able to go and run, I wouldn't be here today. I am ready to play," Betemit said.
The Orioles will use Betemit as a designated hitter against right-handed pitchers. In 2012, the switch-hitting Betemit hit .301 against right-handers.
"He could be a big help if he's close to where he was last year. I like the fact that he's had a lot of at-bats. It's not like it was a two- or three-day rehab. It was quite a while. He's gotten consistent at-bats," Showalter said.
Betemit played first base in the eighth inning and grounded out to end the game.
Ryan Flaherty was optioned to Frederick to make room for Betemit. Flaherty can return to the Orioles after the Keys season ends Monday.
"We've been seeing this coming for two or three days and ran about seven scenarios around, but for where we are, this probably fits us best to keep all the pieces in place," Showalter said.
Baltimore will send eight of its best prospects to the Arizona Fall League. Outfielder Henry Urrutia and second baseman Jonathan Schoop, both of Norfolk, lead the group. Another Cuban defector, outfielder Dariel Alvarez, who was just promoted from Frederick to Bowie and left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, also with the Baysox, are going, too. They'll be joined by pitchers Jason Gurka (Bowie), Tim Berry (Frederick) and Branden Kline (Delmarva). Frederick catcher Michael Ohlman is on the taxi squad.
The team will be managed by Bowie's Gary Kendall and assisted by Aberdeen pitching coach Alan Mills.