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O's battle but fall short vs. Sox in DH sweep

Mancini homers in 3-for-3 night but bullpen falters late
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

BALTIMORE-- Nights like these will be a regular part of the process. Series like this, against a first-place Red Sox team, will serve as the ultimate barometer for where Baltimore hopes it will be on the other side of at least a three-year rebuild.

Games like this, the second of a doubleheader and third of four games total in a 48-hour span, will serve as a reminder when the O's are again playing in meaningful August games and it is them -- not the Red Sox -- hitting late-game homers and making double-digit runs hold up.

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BALTIMORE-- Nights like these will be a regular part of the process. Series like this, against a first-place Red Sox team, will serve as the ultimate barometer for where Baltimore hopes it will be on the other side of at least a three-year rebuild.

Games like this, the second of a doubleheader and third of four games total in a 48-hour span, will serve as a reminder when the O's are again playing in meaningful August games and it is them -- not the Red Sox -- hitting late-game homers and making double-digit runs hold up.

View Full Game Coverage

The learning process, a phrase manager Buck Showalter has used near nightly since Baltimore went into full-bore rebuild mode last month, can be a cruel one. And on Saturday night, the O's were dealt another lesson from the best team in baseball in a 6-4 loss.

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"I don't need the Red Sox to show me [what needs to be done]. We showed them that quite a few times," Showalter said, a reference to his club's three postseason trips in a five-year stretch.

"We'd like to do that again. That's what we're planning on doing. But they're a good team, a lot of pieces. ... They're a good team but I don't need them having a really good year so far to tell us what we have to do. It's not an example. It's something that we know because we did it, too."

The defeat, which dropped the Orioles to 35-83, nearly mirrors that of a Boston club (84-35) that has won every which way since touching down in Baltimore early Friday morning. The four-game series -- which saw a 20-minute weather delay before Saturday's nightcap -- also kicks off a stretch of 11 of 16 games in which the Orioles will play three of the American League's top teams.

The Orioles, energized by Cedric Mullins' debut, scored 12 runs in Friday's loss but couldn't pitch. They got a commendable spot start from Jimmy Yacabonis in Saturday's 5-0 loss in Game 1, but couldn't hit. And in the nightcap, they watched a bullpen that gave away leads in all three games in their prior series against the Rays continue to show its inexperience.

"You can't give them any chance to stay in the game," said Trey Mancini, who went 3-for-3 with his 17th homer in the ninth inning. "Like early on, we had a chance to put a couple more across and didn't do it."

Staked to an early two-run lead, things started to really unravel for the Orioles in the sixth after reliever Cody Carroll issued two walks to start the bottom half of the inning. Steve Pearce would eventually come around to score on Carroll's wild pitch to give Boston a 3-2 lead.

J.D. Martinez tallied his third multi-homer game this season -- all of which have been against the O's -- with a go-ahead, two-run shot off Mike Wright Jr. in the eighth, his MLB-leading 37th. Boston added another run in the ninth to pad its lead.

Joey Rickard homered in the sixth for Baltimore, which got a solid five innings out of starter Yefry Ramirez. Ramirez -- coming off a start in Texas in which he surrendered five runs and couldn't get out of the second inning -- held Boston to two runs on three hits, including Martinez's first homer in the fourth.

Video: BOS@BAL: Rickard drives a solo homer to left field

While he's done a respectable job, Ramirez -- auditioning for a role next season -- is hoping to stretch out his starts.

"I think what it's going to take [to go deeper] is to force the hitters to swing early on me," Ramirez said through an interpreter, "to swing on the first pitch, and to try to pitch more for contact rather than striking out every single one."

Video: BOS@BAL: Ramirez rings up Pearce in the 1st

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Close but no cigar: After leaving two men on with two outs in the seventh inning, the O's did it again in the eighth. In that frame, both runners advanced to second and third on William Cuevas' wild pitch, but Cuevas got Jace Peterson to go down swinging to escape the jam.

SOUND SMART
Chris Davis became the 18th player in franchise history to reach the 1,000 games played mark.

HE SAID IT
"Thought about the seventh inning, the strike zone got away from the umpire, too. It really affected a lot of things. Some comments he made I'll follow up with the league office. That didn't necessarily beat us, but made it a lot tougher. When you're having a tough year like we are, unfortunately some of those things work out that way. But we had some opportunities with some people on base that we didn't cash in on." -- Showalter

UP NEXT
Alex Cobb is coming off a terrific seven-inning outing against the Rays on Tuesday night and will get the start in Sunday's series finale. The righty has quality starts in three of his last four outings, allowing one earned run three times in that stretch. Cobb will be opposed by Red Sox lefty Chris Sale in the 1:05 p.m. ET matchup.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

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