One-run games have not been kind to the Boston Red Sox, who begin a three-game series against the host Baltimore Orioles on Friday.
Boston has five one-run losses this season, including four in the past eight days. The latest came Thursday, when the Red Sox were held to four hits in a 1-0 defeat to the host Toronto Blue Jays.
Toronto took three of four from Boston, which has dropped seven of its past nine games.
“Every game we’ve kind of been in the game,” Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. “We’re losing 2-1, 1-0 and then we’re up. I know we’ve been losing a lot lately, but every game we’re in.”
The Red Sox, who have scored two or fewer runs in seven of their past 10 games, could be without J.D. Martinez on Friday.
Martinez sat out Thursday after aggravating a left adductor ailment, but manager Alex Cora said the designated hitter could return at some point this weekend.
Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story went 0-for-3 on Thursday and is hitting .224 with his new club.
Boston’s most consistent hitter has been Bogaerts, who went 0-for-1 as a late-game replacement on Thursday and is second in the majors with 29 hits. Bogaerts is batting .392 with a home run and eight RBIs.
“He’s just such a good player, such an offensive threat,” Cora said. “He can pull it for power, he can go the other way for singles. I’m glad that he’s playing for us.”
Boston looks to regroup against a Baltimore team that has lost four straight. The Orioles outhit the New York Yankees 14-10 on Thursday but committed five errors in a 10-5 defeat.
“We have to play solid defensively for us to have the chance to win, and today wasn’t our best day defensively,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “We didn’t play very good defense today, and we have a tough time covering up for it offensively right now, too. We’ve got to get better.”
Baltimore is expected to recall right-hander Kyle Bradish from Triple-A Norfolk to make his major league debut on Friday.
Bradish, 25, was acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in the Dylan Bundy trade in December 2019.
Bradish allowed four runs (two earned) and struck out 17 batters in 15 innings in his first three starts with Norfolk this season. He threw 87 pitches over six innings in his last outing for the Tides on April 22. He struck out eight.
Boston will counter with left-hander Rich Hill (0-1, 4.85 ERA), who allowed four hits over four scoreless innings against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.
Hill, 42, hasn’t topped 80 pitches or five innings through his first three starts. He owns a 3-0 record and 2.25 ERA in 15 career games (five starts) against the Orioles.
Baltimore hopes to have Ryan Mountcastle back in the lineup after he sat out the past two games due to neck stiffness.
“Hopefully, he’ll be able to start (Friday),” Hyde said. “The neck feels a lot better.”
Orioles left fielder Austin Hays recorded his first career four-hit game in the Thursday loss, while right fielder Anthony Santander saw his 19-game on-base streak — dating to the end of last season — come to an end.
–Field Level Media