BALTIMORE -- With a chance to go over the .500 mark for the first time this season, the Red Sox bats were silenced by the Baltimore Orioles Tuesday night.
After averaging five runs in the first six games of their current road trip, the Red Sox collected just one run on a season-low two hits -- none after the fourth inning -- and lost 4-1 to the Orioles.
Brian Matusz allowed a leadoff single to Adrian Gonzalez in the second inning and a one-out solo homer to Kevin Youkils -- returning from the disabled list -- and nothing else over 6 13 innings.
The Orioles got a two-run homer from Steve Tolleson in the second off Felix Doubront, then doubled their offensive output with a two-run blast by Wilson Betemit in the eighth.
Betemit's homer came off former Orioles Matt Albers, who had previously tossed 11 13 scoreless and hitless innings against his former club.
Doubront, 4-2, turned in what was arguably his best start of the season, allowing just two runs over six innings while walking two and striking out a career-high nine.
The rookie lefty retired 10 of the last 11 hitters he faced, including the final three in a row by strikeout.
After the homer by Youkilis, the Red Sox did not get a baserunner in scoring position the rest of the night and lost to the Orioles for the fourth time in five tries this season and eighth in the last 10 games, dating back to last season.
1:00 - Shaughnesy, Drellich and Merloni give their leading off impressions regarding the Red Sox
4:00 - Dan Shaughnessy explains why he is still skeptical about the Red Sox team, and why he will not be able to feel confident until he sees them play in the postseason
9:00 - Does our Baseball Show crew have a problem with the Red Sox letting Chris Sale pitch the 8th inning so he could get his 300th strikeout?
15:00 - Jared Carrabis joins the Baseball Show crew to discuss what matches he likes for the Red Sox in the playoffs.
17:00 - Jared Carrabis on how would the Red Sox match up against the Yankees in the playoffs
20:00 - How does Jared Carrabis think about the use of David Price as a relief pitcher?
CINCINNATI - Mookie Betts doubled with the bases loaded to tie it in the eighth inning and dashed home from second base on an infield single, rallying the Boston Red Sox to a 5-4 victory Sunday over the Cincinnati Reds that moved them closer to the AL East title.
By winning 14 of its last 17 games, Boston has left virtually no opening for the second-place New York Yankees to catch up. The Red Sox, already assured a playoff spot, completed an 8-1 road trip that put them in excellent position to win a second consecutive division crown for the first time in franchise history.
Coupled with New York's 9-5 loss in Toronto, the Red Sox reduced their magic number to three. They lead the Yankees by five games with seven to play.
That means Fenway Park can start preparing for a potential celebration. Boston finishes the regular season at home with three games against Toronto and four vs. Houston.