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Orioles bats quiet again as losing streak reaches 11 games with 6-2 loss in Boston: ‘It’s frustrating for everybody’

An Orioles offense that has gotten off easy in what’s now an 11-game losing streak because the team has also pitched poorly came up small again Sunday, with just six hits in a 6-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

The defeat extended the second-longest losing streak of the season for the Orioles (38-78), who lost 14 straight games at the end of May and are growing closer by the day to matching that.

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“I think guys are trying to get the big hit and trying to maybe do a little too much at times because this is not easy, once again,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “It’s frustrating for everybody, and we’re playing from behind almost on a nightly basis and that’s hard to do. We’re not scoring many runs, and we’re having a tough time on the mound a little bit. So, I think that you start seeing the at-bats kind of get away from us at times.”

Even so, the Orioles scored in the first inning of this one when Austin Hays walked, went to second on a single by Trey Mancini, and came home on an error on the throw back in after Anthony Santander singled to left field.

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It was the Orioles’ first hit with a runner in scoring position since the previous Sunday, and they were 0-for-34 in those situations since then. But outside of a single by Hays in the third inning, they didn’t have another hit until after starter Eduardo Rodriguez, a former Oriole, left. In the seventh, Jorge Mateo hit a 105-mph line-drive single off pitcher Adam Ottavino to drive in the Orioles’ second run after Pedro Severino was hit by a pitch and Maikel Franco walked.

DJ Stewart doubled and Mateo reached on an infield single in the ninth, but Cedric Mullins flied out to end both the game and his 20-game hitting streak.

The Orioles have scored 34 runs over their 11-game losing streak. Sunday was their first game in that streak without a home run.

“It’s tough,” starter Keegan Akin said. “You never want to go on an 11-game losing streak.”

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Akin hit early

Their futile offensive performance came after Akin gave back that early lead in a tough first inning, though the rookie left-hander kept things close from then on. The first, however, did him in. He got a double play after a leadoff single, but then allowed a single and a walk before J.D. Martinez hit a three-run home run to left for the Red Sox (69-51).

Akin tacked three shutout innings on the back of that, though, leaving having allowed three runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts in four innings to bring his ERA to 8.13.

The rookie left-hander said the outing was “OK,” while Hyde was happy with how he settled in to get through the fourth after being punished for his mistakes in the first.

Akin said: “Still have got to get a little better and go deeper into the game, but happy with it, especially after that first inning. Just got to bounce back and be a little better next outing.”

The Orioles' Keegan Akin walks back to the mound after giving up a three-run home run to Boston Red Sox's J.D. Martinez, second from left, during the first inning Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
The Orioles' Keegan Akin walks back to the mound after giving up a three-run home run to Boston Red Sox's J.D. Martinez, second from left, during the first inning Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) (Michael Dwyer / AP)

Marcos Diplán continued his scoreless big league career with a clean fifth inning before newcomer Fernando Abad loaded the bases in the sixth and had all three runs come in off Tanner Scott. Konner Wade, another addition to the roster Sunday, pitched two shutout innings.

Roster moves

Wade and Abad were added as part of a flurry of pregame roster moves for the Orioles, with each having their contracts selected from Triple-A Norfolk.

To make roster spots, the Orioles designated Adam Plutko for assignment after another bad outing Saturday, transferred left-hander Bruce Zimmermann to the 60-day injured list, and optioned right-hander Dusten Knight to Norfolk.

Zimmermann, an Ellicott City native and Loyola Blakefield graduate who has been out since mid-June with an arm injury, was set to return this weekend but sprained his ankle working out at Norfolk.

“I think we’re hoping that there’s a chance that he pitches before the season’s over,” Hyde said. “We’re not sure. We’ll see how the ankle recovers and what the doctors say about it, but it is an ankle sprain and he did it doing some strength and conditioning work in the weight room there. We’re hoping that he can bounce back from it.”

ORIOLES@RAYS

Monday, 7:10 p.m.

TV: MASN Radio: 105.7 FM

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