BALTIMORE -- The Red Sox arrived at the intersection of frustration and failure here Thursday night, and it wasn’t pretty.
Red Sox left-hander Wade Miley and manager John Farrell had a heated exchange in the Sox dugout after the fourth inning, Miley waving off the manager in anger even as Farrell followed him down the runway to the clubhouse.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, lost to the Baltimore Orioles, 6-5, the Orioles completing a three-game sweep that dropped the last-place Sox a season-worst seven games behind the idle New York Yankees in the AL East. The Orioles climbed to within four games of the Yankees and pulled three games ahead of the Sox.
The AL East standings could undergo further alterations this weekend, as the Red Sox return home to face the Toronto Blue Jays, winners of eight straight, while the Orioles are playing host to the Yankees.
The source of Miley’s agitation was not immediately apparent. Presumably, he was upset that Farrell informed him he was done for the night, but why Miley would have a quarrel with that decision escapes immediate inspection. The Orioles had knocked Miley around for five runs on nine hits, including three home runs, just one fewer home run than the sinker-baller had allowed in his previous 11 starts combined.
Miley had a similar confrontation last September with Arizona manager Kirk Gibson when pitching for the Diamondbacks, explaining later that he was distressed by the early hook. He’ll need Alan Dershowitz to argue that Farrell was not exercising just cause when he dismissed Miley.
Pablo Sandoval’s throwing error in the seventh accounted for what proved to be the deciding run, Machado taking two bases on the overthrow, moving to third on a fly ball to the track in left, and scoring on a sacrifice fly by Matt Wieters.
The Sox, held to one hit over 8 2/3 scoreless innings by the Baltimore bullpen coming in, finally broke through Thursday night, Xander Bogaerts flaring an RBI single to left in the sixth off reliever Brad Brach. Brach was summoned to replace Orioles starter Chris Tillman after a walk and single by Sandoval, who earlier hit a two-run double off Tillman in a three-run Sox fourth.
The Sox had a final opportunity in the ninth, Blake Swihart beating out a two-out infield hit -- he originally was called out, but 51 seconds later umpires reversed the call. But that only prolonged the Sox futility as Britton struck out Dustin Pedroia to end it.