"We mishandled far too many plays. We are in a rut here defensively," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "Some miscues have shown up and regardless of the team you are facing, if you give them extra outs, you are asking for trouble."
A crooked fifth told the story of the game. Already leading, 6-2, the O's plated seven runs, six of which were unearned. With a run home on an RBI single by rookie Trey Mancini (four RBIs), Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (aka "X" for Players Weekend) made an errant throw that could've started a potential inning-ending double play.
"They're a good club, we just caught them on a down night," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "They're usually a really good defensive team."
The Orioles then tallied five straight hits with two outs, including a two-run single by Seth Smith and a two-run double by Tim Beckham (aka "Swaggy T").
Boston starter Rick Porcello (aka "Veintidos") labored through 4 2/3 innings, allowing 11 runs (four earned) on nine hits. The Red Sox right-hander, who had won four straight starts, allowed solo homers to Mark Trumbo in the second and Chris Davis (aka "Crush") in the third.
"We caught Porcello on a down night. He's been pitching well," Showalter said. "We also had the benefit of them playing a night game in Cleveland [on Thursday]. We've had that a lot. ... It's just part of the schedule you don't like to see. I felt fortunate we caught them on a tough travel day."
According to Statcast™, Trumbo's shot was hit off a pitch 4.35 feet off the ground, making it the second-highest pitch hit for a home run this season, behind his own record-setting homer on a pitch 4.57 feet high May 8.
Coming off a start in which he allowed a career-high five homers, Orioles right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (aka "Helly") was a steady presence, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits over seven innings for his eighth win.
"I feel like the ball had a lot more life to it than the last couple of games. I think my command was a lot better than it's been. I think that's the biggest thing," Hellickson said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Porcello's rough first sets tone: With one out and runners on first and second in the first, Adam Jones hit a line drive off Porcello's glove. Unable to gather himself, Porcello rushed a throw to second base, allowing Machado to score for a 1-0 Baltimore lead. Mancini, the next hitter, lifted a sacrifice fly to score Jonathan Schoop (aka "Mamba"), who had a four-hit night.
"It was just a misfire; it was bad throw. I had the easy play at second and just threw it away," Porcello said. "Trust me, I don't think anyone was more frustrated in the ballpark at that point than me."
Hellickson steadily backs offensive effort: Though staked with a 5-0 lead in the second, things were far from in-hand for Hellickson and the Orioles. Mitch Moreland (aka "2-Bags"), who led off the inning, reached on a throwing error by Schoop, who was shifted into the outfield grass. Then Bogaerts drove an 0-2 pitch into the Green Monster seats in left. Unfazed, Hellickson retired the next nine batters -- six via flyouts -- to give Baltimore ample opportunity to pad its lead. After allowing a run in the fifth, he again buckled down, retiring another seven straight.
"Jeremy, everything starts and ends with him," Showalter said. "He had those two extra days and we're going to continue to try and give that to him because we seem to get a return with it." More >
NUNEZ INJURED, EXITS EARLY Red Sox second baseman Eduardo Nunez (aka "Nunie") left in the second with a sprained left wrist and left thumb. The injury occurred when an errant throw to second base by Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon (aka "Noah") caused Nunez to fall awkwardly on his left wrist, getting it tangled with the left arm of Manny Machado (aka "Mr. Miami"). More >
MORELAND MAKES RELIEF APPEARANCE With the game out of reach, Farrell called on Moreland to pitch the ninth. Throwing a fastball, cutter and curveball, Moreland reached the high-80s. He allowed two singles, but also struck out Caleb Joseph (aka "Cabob"). In his one other relief appearance, Moreland tossed a perfect inning against the Rockies on May 6, 2014, as a member of the Rangers.
"One of the pitchers asked me if I could go back-to-back days," Moreland said. "I said, 'Maybe back-to-back years.'"
QUOTABLE "He should have started the game tonight. We put him in a tough situation. He's going out there and playing first every day and I take responsibility for putting him in that spot. It was nice to see him put up a zero." -- Porcello, on Moreland pitching
"It makes winning a little more fun. You win a game with a team that's out of it and it's like, 'Who cares?' But when you're playing for something, it makes every game important. It makes coming to the field a little bit easier." -- Hellickson
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS In five career games at Fenway, Mancini is hitting .500 (9-for-18) with two home runs and 10 RBIs.
The nine unearned runs were the most the Red Sox allowed since May 5, 1996, against the Blue Jays, and the most by any team this season.
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles: Right-hander Kevin Gausman (aka "Gausy") returns to the scene of his shortest outing of the season to start Saturday at 4:05 p.m. ET. On May 3, the Orioles starter was ejected in the second inning when he hit Bogaerts with a 76-mph pitch. Gausman is 1-3 with a 4.66 ERA in nine career appearances at Fenway.
Red Sox: Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (aka "El Gualo") starts Saturday in search of his first win since coming off the disabled list. He's 0-1 with a 4.78 ERA in seven starts since returning. He is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts vs. the O's this season.