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Red Sox, Rich Hill out of control in Baltimore blowout to cap series at Fenway

Rich Hill flopped against the Orioles on Monday night, failing to record an out in the fifth inning as the Red Sox squandered a series against the AL East basement dwellers.Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

You could tell Rich Hill was in for one of those nights Monday at Fenway Park.

In the series finale against the Orioles, Hill was thumped for two homers, seven hits, and six runs in four-plus innings of work. It resulted in a 10-0 loss, and the Sox’ first series loss since they were swept by the White Sox three weeks ago.

They are yet to win a series against an American League East team this season, dropping six straight. And they lost this one via their most lopsided defeat since a 13-1 loss last July 29 to Toronto. It was their worst loss in a shutout since 2013.


“I have to get back to work.” Hill said. “I say it all the time: After a bad outing, take ownership for it. I did not pitch well and put us in hole to start.”

Hill’s ERA jumped from 3.86 in eight starts to 4.85, and the trouble started early. A Hill fastball missed far inside against leadoff hitter Austin Hays. The lefthander missed again with a second, this time to the arm side before a third hit Hays.

Hill’s command was off, a huge issue for a pitcher who lacks power and whose stuff relies heavily on placement to go along with different arm angles and velocity.

With Hays on first, Trey Mancini sent a ball off the base of the center-field wall that ricocheted toward right for a triple, scoring Hays from first. Mancini was thrown out at the plate trying to advance on a ball that got away from catcher Christian Vázquez for the first out of the inning, but that would soon be forgotten when Ryan Mountcastle blasted a hanging curveball to left-center, making it 2-0.

Rich Hill tags out Baltimore's Trey Mancini on a play at the plate in the first inning of Monday's game.Kathryn Riley/Getty

Both shots left the bat at 107 miles per hour, with a Ramón Urías lineout ripped 103.1 m.p.h. Urías made it 4-0 in the third when, following a Hays single, he scalded a 422-foot homer to center that went 104.1 m.p.h.


Hill struggled with tipping his pitches, he said, in his last start against the White Sox. He noted it was a bit of an issue in the first frame for him, but quickly intimated that his struggles Monday night weren’t because of that.

“There aren’t any excuses. It’s not mechanical, it’s not tipping. Those are side notes to what’s going on,” he said. “However, you have to figure it out and get the job done when you’re out there.”

Hill struck out six, but was done two batters into the fifth after walking Mancini and Mountcastle roped a double down the left-field line, part of a 4-for-5 night. Hirokazu Sawamura took over for Hill and allowed both those runners to score.

Baltimore tacked on a seventh run in the seventh against Ryan Brasier, and Anthony Santander blasted a three-run homer off Matt Barnes in the ninth.

Alex Verdugo stands in front of the Fenway scoreboard in the ninth inning of Monday's game.Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Offensively, the Sox had nothing. O’s starter Tyler Wells allowed just two hits in six scoreless innings, silencing a team that scored a whopping 27 runs in their four previous contests. They had just four hits, with the top four hitters — Kiké Hernández, Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, and Xander Bogaerts — were a combined 1 for 14.

“That kid was really good,” manager Alex Cora said. “At one point he was at, like, a 78 percent strike rate. He’s one of those guys that you don’t see the same sequence or pitches. You have to tip your hat to him. He was really good.”


The Sox are just 3-5 against the Orioles, who are 16-26 against every other team. The poor loss Monday was a reminder of the Sox’ flaws this season. Still, the team knows it must move forward.

“Hindsight of it is that we want to continue putting together good streaks,” Hill said. “And again, that falls solely on myself as a starting pitcher and giving us an opportunity to win.”

Julian McWilliams can be reached at julian.mcwilliams@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @byJulianMack.