- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - The Baltimore Orioles’ slim playoff hopes just got a little smaller.

Rich Hill kept up his startling comeback, pitching a two-hitter and striking out 10 as the Boston Red Sox sent to Orioles to a 7-0 loss Friday night.

Entering the day 3 1/2 games behind Houston for the AL’s second wild card spot, Baltimore can hardly afford many more losses.

On Friday, they were shutout by a journeyman left-hander who is rediscovering his career.

“We can’t throw in the towel now just because we lost,” catcher Caleb Joseph said.



They also can’t have many more performances like the one by starter Kevin Gausman.

Gausman (3-7) gave up five runs in five-plus innings, falling to 1-6 with a 6.10 ERA on the road. The biggest mistake he said he made was challenging David Ortiz during a three-run sixth.

“I probably let my ego get the best of me,” Gausman said. “Tried to throw a fastball by him like I did the pitch before.”

Leading 2-0 in the sixth, Boston scored two runs when both players slid into the plate a second or so apart on Ortiz’s double that chased Gausman.

Dustin Pedroia drew a leadoff walk and Bogaerts singled. Ortiz then hit a deep shot to right, just out of the reach of Alvarez.

Pedroia, who held up to see if the ball was caught so he could tag, beat the relay throw by going in headfirst before Bogaerts slid in ahead of Joseph’s tag. Brock Holt’s RBI double made it 5-0.

The 35-year-old Hill (2-0) was released by Washington in June, then played for the Long Island Ducks in an independent league before signing a minor league deal with the Red Sox in August.

Hill threw his second career shutout - the other came in 2006 with the Chicago Cubs. The game ended when right fielder Mookie Betts made a leaping catch at the wall, robbing Chris Davis of a homer.

Hill gave up a hit to the first batter he faced before holding Baltimore hitless until Dariel Alvarez opened the ninth with an infield single.

Earlier this month, Hill became the first Red Sox pitcher to fan 10 or more in his initial two starts.

Ortiz had three doubles and three RBIs as Boston stopped a three-game losing streak. Xander Bogaerts added three hits and drove in a run.

The Orioles were coming off a three-game sweep of the Nationals.

Hill hadn’t started in the majors in six years before coming up in September. The Red Sox are the fourth big league team the lefty has pitched for in the last three seasons.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: CF Adam Jones was out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game because of back spasms.

Red Sox: 3B Pablo Sandoval missed his fifth straight with pneumonia. He’s scheduled to be evaluated Saturday.

ROAD WOES

All three of Gausman’s starts that he’s given up five or more runs have come on the road.

FENWAY TROUBLES

The Orioles’ starters haven’t finished the sixth inning in any of their eight Fenway Park starts this season.

UP NEXT

Orioles: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (10-7) is set to start the Saturday. He’s won his last two starts, giving up just three runs in 14 innings.

Red Sox: Lefty reliever Craig Breslow (0-3) is scheduled to make his first career start as interim manager Torey Lovullo goes to a “bullpen game.” Breslow has made 522 relief appearances in 10 years.

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