Final: Orioles 2, Red Sox 1: Despite outhitting Baltimore, 7-5, the Sox are unable to push across anything more than a third-inning run. Boston left eight on base. The rookie Chen moves to 5-2 with the win, while Beckett drops to 4-6 with the loss, despite a solid eight-inning effort in front of 37,243 at Fenway. Boston has now lost three straight for the first time since May 8-10, and seven straight at home against the Orioles dating to last season.
Bottom 9th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 1: Jim Johnson gets his 18th save of the season, striking out pinch hitters Ryan Sweeney and Daniel Nava.
Top 9th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 1: Padilla maintains the status quo in relief, setting down Baltimore's top three hitters in order, including inducing a groundout from Jones on a 51-mph curveball. We head to the bottom of the ninth, with Jim Johnson trying to close it out for the O's.
Bottom 8th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 1: After Chen exits with a no-walk line, Strop promptly dishes out free passes to Youkilis and Ortiz after striking out Pedroia on a 98-mph fastball. Middlebrooks flies harmlessly to center and Podsednik grounds to first. The Sox have three outs left.
Padilla on for Boston. Beckett's line in his longest outing since April 13: 8.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K.
Top 8th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 1: Beckett appeared to tweak something after getting Betemit to pop to Youkilis, earning a mound visit from Bobby V and the trainer. He threw one warmup pitch, stayed in the game, and got two more outs without any damage, personal or otherwise.
Pedro Strop into the game for Baltimore. Chen's final line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. Chen entered 0-2 in his past three outings with a 7.31 ERA, and hadn't made it into the seventh in any of those starts.
Bottom 7th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 1: Station-to-station offense put runners on second and third after singles by Gonzalez (1 for his last 16 entering the at-bat) and Saltalamacchia, and a sacrifice bunt from McDonald that moved the runners over. But Chen got Byrd to chase an outside changeup and Aviles to pop to shallow right, stopping the rally.
Podsednik enters the game in left after pinch running for Gonzalez. McDonald moves to right. Beckett will pitch into the eighth.
Top 7th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 1: Beckett sandwiches a two-out single from Davis by striking out Jones and Reynolds. The Orioles' No. 2-No. 6 hitters are 1 for 15 tonight.
Bottom 6th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 1: Youkilis singles, breaking an 0-for-11 streak, but Ortiz goes down on a check-swing and Middlebrooks lines sharply to first. Chen hangs on through six.
Top 6th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 1: Well, chalk that up to a good, old-fashioned intern-blog jinx. After all that talk about his hot start, Beckett allows three straight singles to Betemit, Flaherty, and Andino to open the frame. A fielder's choice from Chavez gives the O's the lead, but Beckett gets a much-needed 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Bottom 5th: Red Sox 1, Orioles 0: Beckett's Baltimore counterpart, Chen, sets the Sox down in order, striking out McDonald to start the inning. He's allowed four hits and one run through five. Neither starter has walked a batter.
Top 5th: Red Sox 1, Orioles 0: More of the same for Beckett, who has allowed one hit through five. Perhaps more impressive: 49 pitches, 38 for strikes. That's 78 percent. For reference, he entered throwing strikes 67 percent of the time this season.
Bottom 4th: Red Sox 1, Orioles 0: Middlebrooks is now 2 for 2 after a single to right. He's hit safely in eight straight dating to May 23, and has multiple hits in six of his past 12 games.
Top 4th: Red Sox 1, Orioles 0: Any early hopes of Beckett perfection are dashed with a Chavez single to left. But a 6-4-3 double play and another groundout to Aviles continues Beckett's strong outing.
Bottom 3d: Red Sox 1, Orioles 0: In his first game back since going on the DL with an oblique strain, McDonald doubles off the Green Monster, moves to third on a Byrd single, and scores on a sacrifice fly by Aviles. That was McDonald's first hit since May 7 and his first extra-base hit since April 30. Stacking righthanded-hitting outfielders at the bottom of the order pays off for Bobby V as the Sox strike first.
Top 3d: Orioles 0, Red Sox 0: Strikeout, strikeout, groundout for Beckett, who's at 29 pitches (24 strikes) through three innings. Looking strong so far.
Bottom 2d: Orioles 0, Red Sox 0: A sharp Middlebrooks single off Andino's glove up the middle is spoiled by two nice plays from Betemit. He wound up backside-first in the stands on a foul pop-out by Gonzalez, then barehanded a dribbler from Saltalamacchia to end the frame.
Top 2d: Orioles 0, Red Sox 0: Middlebrooks makes a nice play on a sharp liner from Reynolds to end the inning. Beckett has thrown 17 pitches through two innings, 15 for strikes.
Bottom 1st: Orioles 0, Red Sox 0: Sox go around the horn in their first time up vs. Chen. Aviles breaks his bat on a pop to second, Pedroia grounds to short, and Youkilis grounds to third.
Top 1st: Orioles 0, Red Sox 0: Chavez, Hardy and Jones down on seven total pitches from Beckett.
Pregame: Greetings from Fenway Park. Alex Prewitt here, the Globe's summer intern, bringing you live updates Wednesday night.
The Red Sox, three games back in the AL East, have lost two straight for the first time since May 8-10. They send Josh Beckett (4-5, 4.26 ERA) to the mound tonight against the Orioles. Baltimore, which took the series opener Tuesday night, 8-6, in 10 innings, counters with lefthander Wei-Yin Chen (4-2, 3.75 ERA).