Red Sox

BSJ Game Report: Orioles 4, Red Sox 2 – Lack of offense, suspect defense lead to another loss

(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

All you need to know about the Red Sox' 4-2 loss, complete with BSJ analysis and insight:

BOX SCORE

HEADLINES

Defense lets Sox down again: In Friday's opener, a critical error by Kiké Hernández led to a big inning for the Orioles. On Saturday, it was more of the same, with Rafael Devers the main culprit. Devers went ranging far to his left to snare a grounder from Austin Hays with one on and two out, but then, from his knees, made a poor throw over the head of second baseman Marwin Gonzalez, allowing Rio Ruiz to advance to third. A passed ball by Kevin Plawecki pushed Hays into scoring position and a two-run single followed.

An inning later, Xander Bogaerts couldn't backhand a ball cleanly and the delay gave time for the hitter to beat the throw to first while a baserunner from third scored a run. "At the start of the season, it gets magnified,'' said Alex Cora. "Obviously we can better. We feel we're better. But out of the three phases of the game, the defense part of it has been disappointing in the first two games.'' Part of the issue with Devers is trying to do too much. He ranged way over to his left and made a sprawling stop when he would have been better off allowing Bogaerts to make the play.

Houck dominant at times, but saddled with first loss: Tanner Houck's perfect record wasn't going to last forever. After winning each of his first three decisions last September, Houck was tagged with his first loss. Of the three runs he allowed, one was unearned as Houck was victimized by the same sloppy defense behind him. But he also kicked himself for starting trouble in the fourth by issuing a two-out walk, opening the door for two runs. Still Houck was powerful, mixing a mid-90s fastball with a darting slider. He struck out the side in the second, and at one point, fanned five in the span of six hitters. He could be returned to the alternate site soon with Eduardo Rodriguez nearly ready to reclaim his spot in the rotation, but Houck served notice that he's ready to help throughout the season when called upon.

Offense a bit better, but not nearly good enough. After being shut out and limited to two hits in the opener, the Red Sox at least