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A day after their official elimination from the AL East race, the Boston Red Sox played like a team that is looking forward to the end of the season.
The Red Sox committed three errors and managed seven hits in a 4-0 loss to Miguel Gonzalez and the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night.
"We were not sharp defensively," manager John Farrell said. "We had a lot of opportunities to turn some double plays. That probably factored into some runs allowed. And we rolled into a couple ourselves."
Nelson Cruz had two hits and scored two runs for the Orioles, who opened a 10-game lead over the idle Yankees in the AL East. Gonzalez (9-7) allowed six hits and walked three in 6 1-3 innings.
Boston's Joe Kelly (1-2) allowed three earned runs, six hits and three walks in 6 1-3 innings. He also hit two batters and struck out six.
"We didn't play good defense behind him," said Red Sox catcher David Ross, who had a throwing error. "We didn't come up with any big hits, especially late. We had the guy on the ropes and couldn't come up with any."
Boston had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh, but Tommy Hunter fanned Will Middlebrooks and Ross.
Steve Pearce also had two hits for Baltimore, which has won nine of its last 12 games. The Orioles' previous double-digit lead in the division was in 1979.
The last-place Red Sox had only one runner reach second base in the first six innings and did not put a runner on third until the seventh.
Baltimore went ahead on singles by Cruz, Chris Davis and Pearce in the second.
The Red Sox entered the night having scored the fewest runs in the AL. They were shut out for the 14th time, most since 16 in 1990.
Orioles: SS J.J. Hardy missed the game - his third in a row - and was sent back to Baltimore to have an MRI on his ailing back. Hardy said he took some groundballs and swings but wasn't healthy enough to play. He was scheduled to fly to Baltimore for tests and a possible cortisone shot.
Red Sox: DH David Ortiz (right foot) and 1B Mike Napoli (illness) returned after missing Sunday's game.
The teams play the second game of the three-game series on Tuesday, with Chris Tillman (11-5) scheduled to face Boston rookie Anthony Ranaudo (3-1). The Orioles' magic number to clinch the AL East is 11.
The Red Sox hit into three double plays. But they couldn't turn one in the infield despite five chances, with Orioles batters repeatedly beating the relay to first. With the bases loaded in the sixth inning, the Red Sox botched a potential 3-6-1 double play when shortstop Xander Bogaerts' throw bounced past Kelly, who was covering first, allowing another run to score. Boston did manage a strikeout-throw out double play in the ninth.
KICKING IT AROUND
In addition to Bogaerts' error, Ross threw the ball into center field when attempting to catch Alejandro De Aza stealing second in the seventh. With De Aza on third, left fielder Yoenis Cespedes was rushing in to field Adam Jones' fly ball but muffed it, allowing the run to score.
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