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Orioles lose to Red Sox, 9-1, for 10th defeat in 11 games

Before Friday night at Fenway Park, Aaron Brooks last took a major league mound as the starting pitcher of the Orioles’ 23-2 drubbing at the hands of the Houston Astros, a loss that provided the lowest point of the most brutal week in the first year of the Baltimore’s rebuild.

Brooks seemed bound for another rough outing in a series of them Friday against the Boston Red Sox, and even though he recovered to deliver his longest outing as an Oriole, it did little to quell the losing stretch he and Baltimore are enduring. in Friday’s 9-1 loss to the Red Sox, Brooks allowed five earned runs in his 5 1/3 innings, a line that managed to both lower his ERA with the Orioles and send his team to its 10th defeat in 11 games.

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“We’re just grinding,” Brooks said. "I think everyone’s coming in each day with a clean slate trying to do better than the day before, and, frankly, we haven’t been doing that well, but I think if we come each day with the mentality of trying to get a win, we’ll get there.”

The Red Sox (65-59) jumped ahead quickly on a Mookie Betts double and Rafael Devers single. Then Brooks walked Xander Bogaerts to prompt catcher Chance Sisco to make a first-inning mound visit. On the next pitch, J.D. Martinez’s 106.3 mph grounder went to shortstop Jonathan Villar, who started a double play before Brooks fielded an Andrew Benintendi comebacker to end the threat.

The Orioles (39-83) evened the game in the third when Villar slid home safely on a two-out double from Trey Mancini off Rick Porcello, but the Red Sox scored the game’s final eight runs, with Betts homering in the eighth off Tom Eshelman, who was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after the game, to leave the Orioles seven shy of the record for most home runs allowed in a season.

The Orioles dropped to 0-5 on their road trip. They have one victory in the first 11 games of a stretch of 13 straight against playoff-hopeful clubs in the Red Sox, New York Yankees and Houston Astros.

“You could’ve looked at our schedule at the beginning of the year and probably argue that this would be the toughest part. But that’s just how the cookie crumbles, and nobody feels sorry for us,” Mancini said. "We don’t feel sorry for ourselves. Obviously, we haven’t been playing too well and haven’t really been playing in a lot of these games, unfortunately. We’ve clawed back in some, but tonight, Porcello did a really good job of keeping our bats quiet.”

Triple check

In escaping the first-inning jam, Brooks started a run of retiring eight or nine Red Sox. But Martinez spoiled it with a one-out double in the fourth on a ball that blitzed past third baseman Rio Ruiz’s glove .

That preceded a Benintendi triple to break the tie. Brooks struck out Christian Vázquez on three pitches to have the chance to keep it a one-run game, but Mitch Moreland’s liner to right field evaded DJ Stewart, who was playing for the first time since suffering a concussion Aug. 6. It was good enough for a triple.

“A couple plays that were tough plays that I’ve seen us make, but it just didn’t happen tonight and obviously it hurt Brooksie a little bit,” manager Brandon Hyde said. "But I thought he threw the ball well. The first inning, that double-play ball with J.D., that was big. I thought he threw the ball pretty well tonight. We just didn’t help him out.”

It marked the second time this season the Orioles allowed multiple triples, with the previous occurrence coming July 22 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Brooks also allowed those triples, both to Eduardo Escobar.

Sixth sense

The Orioles have not pitched particularly well in any inning, but the sixth inning has been especially problematic. They entered Friday with a 7.29 sixth-inning ERA, the third worst of any team’s ERA for an inning (excluding extras) behind only themselves in the ninth (7.62) and the Los Angeles Angels in the fifth (7.32).

Brooks, trying to get an out in the sixth inning as a starter for the first time since April 11 when he was pitching against the Orioles as a member of the Oakland Athletics, began the frame by hitting Martinez. Benintendi followed with a single before Vázquez bunted over both runners.

Hyde called on left-hander Richard Bleier, prompting Boston to turn to a pair of pinch-hitters. The first, Sam Travis, was intentionally walked to load the bases after Bleier fell behind. Then Chris Owings broke the game open with a two-run doubles, with both runs tacked onto Brooks’ line. The Orioles lead the American League in percentage of inherited runners scored.

Jackie Bradley Jr.'s sacrifice fly pushed the Orioles’ deficit to 6-1 and their sixth-inning ERA to 7.45.

“You can’t win when you’re down 6-1 in the seventh,” Hyde said. "We’ve just got to have our guys pitch a little bit better to give us a chance.”

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