They had their best shot, and they let it go. The Orioles saw themselves take a seven-run lead with their staff ace on the mound in their series opener against the Red Sox and weren't able to follow through. That gives them extra motivation on Saturday, when they'll be facing Boston ace Josh Beckett.

Beckett, who will be pitching while appealing a six-game suspension, will also have the backing of one of the best lineups in the league. Boston got to the Orioles for 10 runs on Friday night, continuing a bizarre streak that has seen Baltimore's pitching staff allow nine runs or more in four of the last five games.

"This lineup, this division, this whole American League, everyone can hit," said designated hitter Aubrey Huff. "You just want to keep chipping away. If we learned anything in that Texas series, [it's that] no lead is ever safe, and we have to keep chipping away. It seems like we let them off the hook offensively."

That may be the case, but Baltimore's offense has hardly been at fault. The Orioles have scored 34 runs in the last five games, and they had won all three of their series heading into Boston. Now they have to shake off the effects of a demoralizing loss and go back to what allowed them to prosper in the first place.

"You still have to play the game," said manager Dave Trembley. "You have to pitch, you have to catch it. Give credit to the other team. They didn't back down. They kept coming. They got the momentum on their side, and like I've said, their bullpen was the difference in the game. They did a very nice job."

And if the Orioles are going to break back and avoid their first losing series, they'll need a strong start from Adam Eaton. The veteran has only made one start this season, and he was hit hard by Tampa Bay, spurring Baltimore's first blowout loss of the season. Now he'll face a lineup every bit as dangerous.

"It's a tough lineup in any park," said Jeremy Guthrie, who started on Friday. "They have guys that have a good approach and see a lot of pitches. They have some guys that hit the ball very hard. It's a very tough lineup."

Pitching matchup
BAL: RHP Adam Eaton (0-1, 9.00 ERA)
Eaton gave up eight hits and four earned runs in his season debut, which came on an unwieldy 10 days' rest. He is taking his usual rotation turn in Boston, and he'll hope to rebound from some encouraging work toward the end of his debut. He allowed four runs in the second inning of his first start but fired two scoreless innings after that.

BOS: RHP Josh Beckett (1-1, 3.46 ERA)
After pitching a gem on Opening Day, Beckett had mixed results in his last start, giving up eight hits and four runs over six innings in a loss to the Angels. He threw 103 pitches in that game, 61 for strikes. This will be his 10th career start against the Orioles. Over the previous nine, he is 4-2 with a 3.73 ERA. He has five walks and 15 strikeouts over his first two starts.

Bird bites
The Orioles gave up 19 runs on Wednesday and 10 on Friday. Their opponents have logged 10 hits or more in five straight games. ... The Orioles scored seven runs in the second inning on Friday -- their highest-scoring inning of the year so far -- but weren't able to keep control of the game. ... Nick Markakis hit his second career grand slam on Friday and tied a career high with five RBIs. ... Top prospect Matt Wieters left Friday night's game for Triple-A Norfolk early with a cramped right hamstring.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• MASN HD

On radio
• 105.7 The Fan

Up next
• Sunday: Orioles (Koji Uehara, 2-0, 7.20) at Red Sox (Jon Lester, 0-2, 9.00), 1:35 p.m. ET
• Monday: Orioles (Mark Hendrickson, 1-1, 4.00) at Red Sox (Justin Masterson, 0-0, 4.50), 11:05 a.m. ET
• Tuesday: Orioles (TBD) vs. White Sox (Jose Contreras, 0-2, 6.97), 7:05 p.m. ET