BALTIMORE -- The same Red Sox offense which totaled 20 runs in the previous three games was augmented by the return of Kevin Youkilis Tuesday night.
Youkilis did his part, homering in the fourth inning, but after that, the Red Sox didn't collect another hit, losing to Brian Matusz and the Baltimore Orioles, 4-1.
"He was tough," said Jarrod Saltalamacchia of the young Baltimore lefty. "All his stuff was working tonight -- curve ball, changeup, cutter, slider -- everything was working. Tough to hit a guy when he's on like that."
"He was hitting his spots, hitting the corners and getting ahead in the count," said Adrian Gonzalez of Matusz. "He threw the ball well."
The Sox were just 2-for-26 and struck out 12 times against Baltimore pitching. After Matusz left after 6 13 innings pitched, three more O's relievers combined to pitch 2 23 innings, while racking up three more strikesouts.
Boston didn't have a hit after Youkilis's homer, and, in fact, had just two baserunners, both in the eighth inning.
Daniel Nava worked a one-out walk, but was erased at second on a fielder's choice from pinch-hitter Scott Podsednik. But Mike Aviles grounded out to end the inning and the Sox went quietly against closer Jim Johnson in the ninth.
The Sox had only two baserunners in scoring position all night: Gonzalez had a single to open the second and took second on a two-out walk by Saltalamacchia; Youkilis then homered in the fourth.
The two hits by the Red Sox lineup were the fewest for a Sox team against Baltimore since the O's Tom Pheobus no-hit the Sox on April 27, 1968.