Baseball / Sports

Baltimore Orioles' Nelson Cruz is doubled off first base by Boston Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia on an in-field fly ball by J.J. Hardy in the fifth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore on June 10, 2014. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/MCT)

Orioles manage only two hits in 1-0 loss to Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night

BALTIMORE -- Despite two rain delays and an uneven but effective performance by starter Chris Tillman, the Orioles had a chance against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night. But they turned in their weakest offensive performance of the season in a 1-0 loss.

It was the fifth time in 63 games that the Orioles have been shut out this season, and the first since the Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians did it May 24.

The Orioles managed just two hits, their fewest for a game this season.

The loss dropped the Orioles to 32-31 on the season and evened the three-game series against the Red Sox (29-35) at 1-1.

The Orioles' offense had seemingly turned the corner this month, averaging 5.38 runs per game in eight June contests before Tuesday.

But the group couldn't figure out Boston right-hander Brandon Workman, a 2010 second-round pick out of the University of Texas who befuddled the Orioles by spotting his low 90s fastball, cutter and curveball.

Before an announced 24,184, which suffered through two rain delays--one lasted 15 minutes, the other, 1 hour and 18 minutes--Workman took a no-hitter into the sixth before Ryan Flaherty hit a single to center field.

It was the second time in a month that an opposing pitcher took a no-hitter through at least five innings against the Orioles. Kansas City left-hander Danny Duffy threw 62/3 innings before he allowed a hit at Kauffman Stadium on May 17 in the Royals' 1-0 victory in which the Orioles had just three hits.

The Orioles had a few chances Tuesday, including in the ninth, when pinch-hitter Steve Pearce singled to start the inning against former Orioles right-hander Koji Uehara. But a failed sacrifice bunt and two strikeouts gave Uehara his 13th save of the season.

It wasn't his prettiest, but Tillman (5-3) picked up his second quality start in five outings by allowing one run, seven hits and three walks in six innings. He threw just 61 of his 100 pitches for strikes, but continually minimized damage.

Tillman, who had allowed 14 first-inning runs in his 13 previous starts this season, faced the minimum three batters in Tuesday's first on a total of six pitches.

Things got a little rockier after that.

He escaped bases-loaded jams without allowing a run in the second and fourth innings. In the third, he gave up an RBI single to Mike Napoli, but stranded two runners when he struck out Daniel Nava.

Tillman settled down and retired the Red Sox in order in the fifth on nine pitches and worked around an error by Flaherty in the sixth.

That was Tillman's final inning--he didn't go particularly deep in the game, but he lasted much longer than he did in his last outing in Texas, when he was pummeled for five runs in one full inning.

Meanwhile, Workman, a 25-year-old who was making his seventh major league start, was perfect through four innings Tuesday.

With one out in the fifth, Workman allowed his first base runner on a one-out walk to Nelson Cruz, the 14th batter that he faced. Cruz was quickly erased when J.J. Hardy popped up to second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Cruz inexplicably dashed to second and was easily doubled off.

The Orioles finally got a hit against Workman with two outs in the sixth when Flaherty singled to center field. The Maine native made sure Red Sox Nation wouldn't have more no-hit history against the Orioles.

The Orioles have been no-hit only six times in modern franchise history; the past two were by the Red Sox: Clay Buchholz in 2007 at Fenway Park and Hideo Nomo in 2001 at Camden Yards--the only no-hitter in the stadium's 23 seasons.

Workman ended up throwing a career high 62/3 innings, striking out four while walking one.

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