BOSTON (AP) — Falling a season-worst 19 games below .500 might not have been the low point of the day for Boston.
Second baseman and team catalyst Dustin Pedroia could be done for the season. Pedroia sat out Boston’s 4-1 loss to first-place Baltimore on Tuesday night and said after the game that the nagging injury to his left hand and wrist may force him to sit out the remaining 17 games.
“I could rest, continue to play or (have) surgery. There’s three things we can do. We’ll come up with a plan the best we can that’s best for the team,” Pedroia said.
In 135 games, Pedroia is batting .278 with seven homers and 53 RBIs. Last season, he hit .301 with nine homers and 84 RBIs before undergoing offseason surgery on his left thumb.
“Obviously, it hurts,” the 2008 AL MVP said. “It’s tough going out there and trying to do what you’re accustomed to doing and you can’t.”
It’s been that kind of season for the Red Sox. The 2013 World Series champions lost their 82nd game Tuesday, guaranteeing a losing record for 2014. They are a season-high 22 1/2 games out of first.
Meanwhile, the Orioles are running away with the AL East, hitting three homers for a season total of 191. All three came off rookie Anthony Ranaudo (3-2). He left after allowing four runs and six hits in 3 1-3 innings.
Alejandro De Aza hit two long balls, Adam Jones added another and Baltimore won for the 10th time in 13 games.
Chris Tillman (12-5) gave up one run in five innings, the 18th straight start in which he allowed three earned runs or fewer. Zach Britton pitched the ninth for his 34th save in 38 opportunities.
Baltimore began the third with back-to-back homers by De Aza, his seventh of the season, and Jones, his 25th.
Boston’s run came in the fourth on Xander Bogaerts’ 10th homer.
The Red Sox loaded the bases with one out in the fifth on a walk to Christian Vazquez and singles by Mookie Betts and Daniel Nava. But David Ortiz grounded into a double play. That ended the night for Tillman, who improved to 8-0 on the road this season.
Boston put runners at first and second with two outs in the seventh on a single by Carlos Rivero, his first career hit, and a walk to Betts. But lefty Andrew Miller, sent by the Red Sox to the Orioles at the July 31 trade deadline, came in and struck out righty pinch-hitter Allen Craig.
Boston had a potential rally in the ninth when Bogaerts led off with a walk and Rivero followed with a double to right. Bogaerts, however, tried to score after Nick Markakis’ throw to third was off target. The ball stayed close enough for Kelly Johnson to corral it and throw home in time to get Bogaerts.
“If I score right there, we’re only down two and everyone’s cheering,” Bogaerts said. “I immediately took off and thought I had a clear shot.”
Bogaerts’ 10th homer put him in elite company. He became the first Red Sox player age 21 or younger to hit 10 homers in a season since Dwight Evans had 10 in 1973. The only other players in club history on the list are Tony Conigliaro, Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr.
BIG LEAGUE DEBUT
Boston reliever Matt Barnes made his major league debut with three scoreless innings of relief. He allowed three hits and struck out two. He is the ninth player and third pitcher to make his big league debut for the Red Sox this season.
Orioles: SS J.J. Hardy missed his fourth straight game with lower back spasms. No structural damage was found during his visit to the team orthopedist in Baltimore, where he had an MRI and a cortisone injection in his back. Manager Buck Showalter hopes Hardy can play Friday when the Orioles face the New York Yankees in a doubleheader.
Red Sox: Brock Holt missed his fourth straight game because of illness and is expected to replace Pedroia in the field once he is healthy. … 3B Will Middlebrooks left with an illness in the sixth and was replaced by Rivero.
The Orioles go for a sweep of the three-game series Wednesday night when they send Wei-Yin Chen (14-4) to the mound against Brandon Workman (1-8).
Chen is 2-2 with a 5.79 ERA in six starts at Boston. Workman allowed one hit in 6 2-3 innings on June 10 in his only career start against Baltimore.
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