BOSTON (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles are tumbling their way to the All-Star break.
Boston added to the Orioles’ defensive woes with six home runs, including three straight in the seventh as the Red Sox pulled away for a 10-4 win on Thursday night.
“It just continues to give them more momentum and that’s something you can’t do against a team like Boston in their home park,” said starter Jake Arrieta. “It kind of magnified it a little bit.”
After homering twice off Arrieta, the Red Sox, who pounced on Baltimore’s bullpen and handed the Orioles their fourth straight loss and ninth in 10 games.
Six different Boston players homered, including three straight by David Ortiz, Josh Reddick and Jarrod Saltalamacchia that helped the Red Sox blow open the game in the seventh inning.
Dustin Pedroia hit a three-run shot, Jacoby Ellsbury added a two-run homer and Adrian Gonzalez a solo blast for Boston, which moved a half-game up on the Yankees with New York’s loss at home to Tampa.
Arrieta (9-6) allowed the first two homers, starting with Pedroia’s drive on a 3-1 pitch that landed in the parking lot behind the Green Monster and put Boston up 3-2. Arrieta had walked Marco Scutaro and Ellsbury to start the inning, then Pedroia cleared the bases.
“That could have easily been avoided or it could have been a solo shot. It did a lot more damage than it should have,” Arrieta said. “I wasn’t able to get the ball and was in a lot of deep counts.”
Gonzalez homered for the 17th time this season, a shot over the center-field wall that put Boston up 5-3 in the fourth, then Ellsbury hit a two-run homer off reliever Jason Berken in the sixth. Ellsbury and home plate umpire Bill Welke bumped into each other as both watched the ball stay inside the right-field pole and give the Red Sox a 7-3 lead.
Pedro Viola came out of Baltimore’s bullpen in the seventh and failed to get an out.
“It’s that time of year when people are kind of emptying the tank in the bullpen because of the off days coming up. A short leash on the starters and we don’t have that luxury,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said.
Ortiz made it 8-3 with a line drive to straightaway center, just clearing the wall near the deepest part of Fenway Park. Reddick followed Ortiz with a homer to right, just his second this season, then Saltalamacchia made it three straight — clearing the Green Monster as Boston fans cheered the homer hat trick.
It was the first time this season the Red Sox strung together three straight homers and the six home run total was the most for Boston since hitting six in a 10-0 win over the Orioles in September 2009.
Baltimore opened the game on back-to-back singles by J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis. Hardy led off with a single off the Green Monster, followed by Markakis’ single to left and another single by Adam Jones, who lined one off Miller that bounced into right field and allowed Hardy to score.
Andrew Miller (3-0) won his third straight start, allowing three runs on six hits in five innings. He was hardly overwhelming, walking four while striking out none, but he was good enough to give Boston’s beleaguered rotation another much-needed solid start before the bullpen took over with Boston up 5-3.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)