- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - Strikeouts alone weren’t enough to lift Boston ace David Price out of an odd losing streak.

Price struck out 11 in eight strong innings, but couldn’t overcome the two home runs he allowed to Baltimore in the Orioles’ 3-2 victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday night.

“I’m better than three runs. I know that. That’s what I’ve done my entire career,” said Price, who has lost his last three starts despite pitching as well as he has since joining Boston.

Price (7-4) also allowed two homers last Wednesday in a 2-1 loss at San Francisco. Boston has scored a total of four runs over his last three starts.

“I thought he pitched outstanding,” manager John Farrell said. “He’s been very balanced. The delivery is on time. We haven’t scored many runs for him and as a result you get a maybe (misplaced) pitch inside a given game ends up being the difference.”

Farrell was referring to an inside slider that Jonathan Schoop belted over the Green Monster to lead off the eighth inning after Boston had pulled within 2-1 on Jackie Bradley Jr.’s solo homer in the seventh.

Baltimore’s only other runs crossed on a two-run homer Manny Machado hit just inside the pole in right field to put the Orioles up 2-0 in the first.

“I think it’s somewhat unrealistic to think he’s going to go out and throw a shutout every ballgame. And he’s been on the short end of some games where we’ve been shut down offensively,” Farrell said.

The teams entered the three-game series tied atop the American League East. Baltimore has won five of the eight meetings with Boston this season.

Chris Tillman (9-1) struck out seven in seven innings to get the victory. He kept the Red Sox lineup off balance with an assortment of fastballs, sliders and curves. His lone mistake was a home run in the seventh to Bradley.

Baltimore’s bullpen gave one run back in the eighth, but Zach Britton was able close things out to earn his 20th save in 20 tries.

This was the third time this season Price has allowed two home runs.

Baltimore jumped on Price in its first at-bat. After Joey Rickard got aboard with a single, Machado drove a first-pitch fastball over the fence in right field to put the Orioles up 2-0.

Price settled after that, retiring 19 straight with nine strikeouts until Mark Trumbo broke the Orioles’ drought with a single in the seventh.

As good as Price was early Tillman was even better, holding the Red Sox to three hits through six innings.

Boston’s hitters did manage to force some long pitch counts, though. Tillman’s previous high for pitches this season was 110. He threw 120 pitches Tuesday. His 111th pitch of the night - a slider just over the plate - was exposed just enough for Bradley to drive it over the center field fence to pull Boston within a run.

Schoop answered with a first-pitch homer over the Green Monster to lead off the eighth.

Baltimore went to its bullpen and Boston briefly got some life, trimming the lead to a run on an RBI single by Xander Bogaerts.


Red Sox: Farrell said OF/C Blake Swihart (sprained left ankle) has come out of a hard cast, but is in a boot that still has him immobilized. … C Ryan Hanigan (neck strain) has range of motion freely from the left side of the neck that has been restricting him. Farrell said Hanigan will soon begin light baseball activity; it is to be determined whether he will return at the end of his current 15-day DL stint. … Brock Holt (mild concussion) continues to do baseball activities but is still experiencing some dizziness, general fogginess and headaches.

Orioles: Orioles manager Buck Showalter said RHP Yovani Gallardo (right shoulder bicep tendinitis) had a good final rehab start with Triple-A Norfolk and is expected to pitch Saturday against Toronto. … C Caleb Joseph is in Double-A Bowie taking batting practice and throwing, but won’t but fully cleared to catch until at least June 27 should everything go as scheduled, Showalter said. … RHP Vance Worley (right groin strain) was placed on the 15-day DL on Tuesday, retroactive to June 13.


Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (0-3, 3.45) makes his 11th start of the season and is still in search of his first win this season. Gausman has not won since beating Toronto on Sept. 30, 2015.

Red Sox: RHP Steven Wright (7-4, 2.09) tries to extend his career-best winning streak to five straight games. Wright hasn’t allowed an earned in his last 16 1/3 innings pitched.


Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/khightower

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