Jones, Orioles knock Sox from first place, 6-0

Jones, Orioles knock Sox from first place, 6-0
July 26, 2013, 9:45 pm
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BALTIMORE -- After a two-month stay, the Red Sox fell out of first place Friday night. And they had their bats to blame.

The Sox mustered just four hits and had just one baserunner in scoring position after the first inning, blanked by Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles, 6-0.

The defeat, coupled with Tampa Bay's win over the Yankees, lifted the Rays a half-game in front of the Sox in the American League East standings. The Sox had held first place since May 27, exactly 60 days ago.

It was the eighth time the Sox have been shutout this season, second time in the last four games and third in the last eight contests.

John Lackey suffered his second straight defeat, victimized mainly by the long ball. He allowed three homers -- two to Adam Jones and another to Manny Machado -- tying a season-high. He also yielded three homers in Philadelphia on May 29.

Machado also drove in a run with a single to center, delivering Nate McLouth who had driven a leadoff triple in the third. The Orioles added another run in the eighth when J.J. Hardy belted a solo homer off Jose De la Torre.

In their last two games, the Sox have managed just one run. Over the last three losses, they've scored just once and have been held to two runs or fewer six times in the last eight games.

Their lone threat came in the first when they loaded the bases against Tillman, but left them full when Daniel Nava went down swinging on three pitches.


STAR OF THE GAME: Chris Tillman
Tillman limited the Red Sox to two hits over seven shutout innings. After bailing out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the first, Tillman allowed just two baserunners over the next six innings, and only one reached scoring position.

Jones went opposite field twice on John Lackey, with a two-run shot in the first inning and a solo shot in the fifth, producing half of the Orioles' six runs. It was the third multi-homer game of his career.

Lackey lost his second straight start, and for the first time this season, allowed three or more runs in back-to-back starts. He also allowed three homers -- tying his season high.

TURNING POINT: The Sox seemed to have Tillman in trouble in the first inning when a single and two walks loaded the bases. But he struck out Daniel Nava on three pitches and the Sox never threatened again.

BY THE NUMBERS: The Red Sox have a .250 winning percentage (2-6) against the Orioles -- and .649 (24-13) against the other teams in the A.L. East.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "Not good enough.'' John Lackey, when told that manager John Farrell had labeled the two pitches that Jones hit for homers as "good fastballs.''