BALTIMORE — Manager John Farrell answered questions for about 90 seconds on Monday night after the Red Sox were beaten, 4-0, by the Baltimore Orioles.
As reporters filed out of his office into the clubhouse, several players were walking through the double doors into the concourse below the stands at Camden Yards. Others were at their lockers tying their shoes or, this being 2014, putting in their diamond earrings.
Within a few minutes, only a handful of players were still in the room and the clubhouse staff had started to clean up.
The Red Sox like each other fine; it’s the losing they can’t stand. The defending World Series champions have the look of a team that knows it’s not very good, or at least not good enough.
The 28-35 Red Sox have lost six of seven on a road trip that has two games left, and 16 of their last 24 games.
The Red Sox spoke hopefully of building momentum after beating the Detroit Tigers on Sunday night on a three-run homer by David Ortiz in the ninth inning. But less than 24 hours later they were held to three hits.
The game lasted 2 hours and 21 minutes, a testament to either how efficient the Orioles were on the mound or how sleepy the Red Sox were after landing in Baltimore at 4 a.m.
“Everybody was trying hard today but the intensity wasn’t like it usually is,” Ortiz said. “Everybody needs some good rest tonight and come back tomorrow and fight back.”
The Sox were shut down for eight innings by Baltimore righthander Bud Norris, a pitcher who is the very definition of ordinary.
Norris came in with a 4.58 earned run average in 22 games for the Orioles after being obtained from the Astros last season. Monday was the first time he went eight innings with Baltimore.
“We couldn’t put too much together in any one given inning,” Farrell said.
The Sox advanced only one runner as far as third base and never came close to scoring. Norris (5-5) allowed a leadoff single to Brock Holt then retired 13 straight.
Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia, Ortiz, and Mike Napoli were 0 for 16.
“We didn’t do anything,” Napoli said.
The Sox didn’t advance a runner into scoring position until a two-out double by Daniel Nava in the fifth inning. In all, the Sox were 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position and are 8 of 52 (.154) on their trip.
It was the fifth time this season the Sox were shut out and the fourth time they were held to three or fewer hits.
Jake Peavy wasn’t terrible in his first career start at Camden Yards, giving up four runs over seven innings as Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, and Ryan Flaherty homered. But on a night when his teammates let Norris average a tidy 12.2 pitches per inning, four runs easily stood up.
“Jake took the ball and gave us a chance to win tonight,” catcher David Ross said. “The mistakes he did make, they made him pay for it. But he didn’t make many.”
Peavy (1-4) beat himself up over missing location, especially on a breaking ball to Markakis in the fifth inning that was hammered to right field for a two-run homer. He also lamented how often his teammates hit the ball hard without reward.
“It seems to be the ball’s bouncing on the other side when it comes to that,” he said.
“Hopefully it’ll turn before too long. You’ve got to keep playing, you’ve got to keep grinding for it to turn.”
Jones homered in the first inning, sending a slider over the fence in center field for his 10th of the season.
Peavy allowed singles by Jones and Chris Davis to start the fourth inning. For Davis, it was his first career bunt hit as he laid one down to beat the defensive shift.
Peavy made a nice play on the ball and threw to first base from his knees. Umpire Brian Gorman called Davis out but the call was overturned swiftly upon review.
Peavy extricated himself from the jam. He struck out Nelson Cruz, got J.J. Hardy on a fly ball to right field, then snared a hot one-hopper off the bat of David Lough for the third out.
Flaherty singled in the fifth before Markakis homered. Flaherty belted a solo home run to center field in the seventh inning. It was the second of the season for the Maine native.
Peavy last allowed three home runs on July 25 last season against the Tigers, when he was with the White Sox. It was his last game with Chicago before he was traded to the Red Sox.
Peavy gave up eight hits with one walk. He struck out seven.
“I don’t care about any personal numbers at this point,” Peavy said. “I was pitching to win. I was pitching to win tonight and unfortunately after the first we didn’t have much of a chance.”