The Orioles couldn’t get anything going against Red Sox knuckleball pitcher Steven Wright, which didn’t make Monday night look a whole lot different from most any other night this season.
To their credit, however, they took what they could get and tried to make a small impression if they couldn’t make a big one.
It almost worked.
Wright allowed just four hits over 6 2/3 innings — all of them singles -- before he was forced out of the game when three straight Orioles reached base with two outs in the seventh.
But the attempted rally wasn’t exactly a laser show. Chance Sisco was hit by one of those fluttering K-balls and Jace Peterson bunted for the O’s fourth hit of the game before Joey Rickard worked Wright for a walk to load the bases.
“It’s tough to tell the way we’re swinging the bats,’’ manager Buck Showalter said. “Early on, we hit some balls sharp, on the button, right at time, and usually that’s a good sign of things to come off a knuckleballer.
“When you get the weak popups, not much height on them, and topped balls, you go, ‘This could be a tough challenge.’ But it wasn’t that way early on and then it kind of became that way as, I think, some anxiety sets in for us not scoring runs. So, give him some credit, but I also things there were some other things working in his favor that we’re providing.”
There were other examples. Jones singled with one out in the third inning and moved up on a passed ball. He was stranded at second base.
Peterson came up again with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and drew a walk. He stole second base to put the sudden-death winning run in scoring position. Then Pedro Álvarez came up to pinch hit and struck out against reliever Brandon Workman.
The Orioles did not get an extra-base hit until Danny Valencia’s two-out double in the 10th inning, which also didn’t produce the desired result. The rest of the way, not one of the nine Orioles batters who came to the plate in the game put the ball in play. Seven struck out and two walked.
Not that the Red Sox were pounding the ball all over the park. They managed just three singles in eight innings against Orioles starter Dylan Bundy, who has pitched seven innings or more and has given up three hits or fewer in four of his past six starts.