BALTIMORE -- Desperate times, as they like to say, may call for desperate measures, but resorting to what he considers foolishness? That’s not John Farrell.
“I’m not at the point where I’m going to pull a lineup out of a hat, I’ll tell you that,’’ the Red Sox manager said after the Red Sox were shut out for the second time in three games by the Baltimore Orioles, 6-0, and scored just one run in 27 innings here.
“We’ve got to trust in the players we have and continue to work through this,’’ he said.
That sounds good in theory, not so good when the usual suspects produced only one lead in three games here -- Mike Napoli’s flared single driving in the only run in Boston’s 1-0 win Tuesday night -- and batted a collective .147 (9-for-61) with runners in scoring position on this trip in which they lost seven of nine games.
Rookie Xander Bogaerts, red-hot when this trip started, finished 0-for-16. David Ortiz, whose three-run home run Sunday night was the only hit of the trip that registered on the Richter scale and was just the team’s third three-run home run since May 3, had one single in three games here. His average is down to .252.
Dustin Pedroia was 0-for-12 until singling in his last two at-bats. Jackie Bradley Jr. returned to the lineup after being benched two games and was 0-for-2 with a hit by pitch. Since May 1, he has more than twice as many whiffs (40) as hits (19).
Even rookie leadoff man Brock Holt finally cooled off, his 10-game hitting streak coming to an end Wednesday.
“One run in 27 innings is extremely difficult,’’ Farrell said. “You credit their pitching, you credit inning-ending double plays three different times tonight. We had big opportunities last night. We left a number of men on base, particularly in the early innings. We’ve got to do a better job offensively all the way around.’’
The Sox had never scored fewer than five runs in any series at Camden Yards since it opened in 1992. In 2009, they averaged nearly eight runs a game in the nine times they played here. The last time they were this helpess against Orioles pitching was in 1974, when Ross Grimsley and Mike Cueller threw 1-0 shutouts at the Sox in both ends of a doubleheader and Jim Palmer shut them out in the series finale.
“We’ve tried a number of different things,’’ Farrell said, “from five or six different leadoff guys to trying to get some continuity through the middle of order -- we’ve been able to do that now that Mike [Napoli] is back. There have been games on this road trip where we’ve put together an offensive approach that this team is known for, but those opportunities haven’t been cashed in.’’
It used to be that Fenway Park always was a salve for what ailed the Sox. Not this season. The Sox, who return home to face the Indians and Twins, are just 15-17 on Yawkey Way, and they are certain to be greeted by a wary constituency Thursday night.
Only 225 days have passed since the Red Sox celebrated a World Series title on Dave Mellor’s lawn, but it seems so much longer. That in itself might cause some people to pull their next lineup out of a hat.