BALTIMORE — Red Sox righthander Brayan Bello was working on a shutout as he took the mound in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
A rookie demonstrating his potential can’t save a lost season. But it can make the grind a little easier to handle.
The Sox were denied even that little bit of solace. Bello lost his command and then the game as the Orioles rallied for a 3-2 victory before a crowd of 16,451 at Camden Yards.
The Sox are now 0-4 on their road trip with two games remaining. Three of the losses were by one run. They were 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position on Friday and now 3 for 27 on the trip.
“It’s been frustrating from that aspect,” manager Alex Cora said.
Better run support might have helped Bello (1-5) dodge the loss. He went 5⅓ innings and allowed three runs on three hits, all singles. The 23-year-old struck out seven and walked four.
“A good learning experience,” Cora said. “Trying to push him to the sixth. Obviously, we’re trying to win the game and his stuff was really good. But at the same time he’s learning.”
The Orioles, who had lost four of five, used five relievers in the victory and kept their playoff hopes flickering. Jake Reed was the winner with Dillon Tate getting the final four outs for his fifth save.
Xander Bogaerts was 3 for 5 with a home run for the Sox. He also grounded into a double play to end the game.
The Sox are 5-8 against the Orioles and 18-40 against American League East teams.
Baltimore starter Austin Voth allowed five hits and two walks over four innings but only two runs.
Those came in the third inning. Rookie catcher Connor Wong led off and lined a double off the wall in right field. With two outs, Bogaerts went the other way with a fastball.
Right fielder Kyle Stowers tracked down the ball but it got over his glove and landed in the front row of the bleachers.
Bogaerts now has 154 homers, tied for 16th in team history with George “Boomer” Scott.
Tommy Pham led off the fifth inning with a single, knocking Voth out of the game. With one out, Bogaerts singled off lefthander DL Hall and the Sox were positioned to add to their lead.
But Rafael Devers fouled out and Trevor Story grounded into a force out at second base. The inability to add to their lead would prove costly.
Bello steamed into the sixth inning having thrown 11 consecutive scoreless innings going back to his previous start. He then struck out Stowers on four pitches.
The next five Orioles reached and three scored.
Cedric Mullins singled, giving him all three hits off Bello. Adley Rutschman then took a strike and walked as the next four pitches were well off the plate. Bello then walked Anthony Santander on six pitches.
That was the end of his night. Bello came off the mound shouting into his bright red glove. How his outing ended was a disappointment.
“I was trying to throw strikes but the ball was moving a lot,” Bello said via a translator. “I couldn’t really control the pitches. Besides that I felt really good.”
Cora turned to 30-year-old rookie Kaleb Ort. His wild pitch, on a slider that backed up away from Wong, scored Mullins.
Ort then walked Ryan Mountcastle to reload the bases. That’s asking for trouble and Ort found it when rookie Gunnar Henderson bounced a single into right field and two runs scored.
Ort has pitched 21⅓ innings this season and put 41 batters on base via hit, walk or hit batter.
“You know where we’re at. These kids, they need to learn and show us what they have,” Cora said. “We didn’t throw too many strikes in that inning.”
Facing Cionel Perez, Alex Verdugo drew a two-out walk in the seventh and Bogaerts singled. Devers had a chance to change the game with one swing and popped to shortstop.
Devers had nine career homers at Camden Yards, none this season. He is hitting .203 with a .657 OPS since the All-Star break. His last home run came on Aug. 14.