BOSTON (AP) — David Ortiz homered in Boston’s eight-run first inning, then got into a bench-clearing brawl with Baltimore
reliever Kevin Gregg as the Red Sox routed the Orioles 10-3 on Friday night.
Ortiz and Gregg exchanged a flurry of punches in the eighth, but neither connected before they were separated as both benches and bullpens emptied for the second time in the inning.
Moments before the fight, Ortiz started toward the mound after taking a second straight pitch inside from Gregg. The benches and bullpens emptied, but nothing developed and Ortiz stepped back into the batter’s box.
Gregg got him to pop out, then shouted something as the Boston slugger started down the first-base line. Plate umpire Mike Estabrook immediately ejected Gregg — and Ortiz quickly changed course, charging toward the mound. Gregg and Ortiz each threw a few haymakers, but the heavyweight bout was swallowed up by the mass of players rushing onto the field.
It took more than 15 minutes to restore order and sort out the ejections. Gregg and Ortiz were tossed, as well as Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Baltimore reliever Jim Johnson.
Estabrook couldn’t quite reach Ortiz in time to stop him from getting to Gregg. The benches and bullpens cleared again as Boston fans cheered “Pa-pi! Pa-pi!”
The Orioles, who allowed 10 or more runs for the fourth time in five games, were flustered after the Red Sox sent 13 batters to the plate in the opening inning and tagged starter Zach Britton for seven earned runs on six hits and two walks.
Ortiz hit a three-run shot.
It was Boston’s fourth straight win, and it extended Baltimore’s losing streak to five.
Britton (6-7) didn’t even make it through the inning, getting pulled with two outs after Jacoby Ellsbury blooped an RBI single in his second at-bat.
The outburst of runs was plenty for Josh Beckett (8-3), who allowed three runs on seven hits over five innings. Beckett was having problems with the wet dirt on the mound after a steady rain fell early in the game and he didn’t return for the sixth. Having already lost another starter to the disabled list this week, the Red Sox were not risking Beckett’s health so close to the All-Star break.
The Red Sox said Beckett mildly hyperextended his left knee and removed him for precautionary reasons.
He was already in line for the win after Boston’s huge first inning, then Dustin Pedroia added a run in the sixth with a solo
homer that was kept inside Fenway Park only by a sign above the left-field wall. Pedroia knocked one all the way out of the venue on Thursday in Boston’s 10-4 win.
Boston reached 10 runs again Friday on Josh Reddick’s RBI triple in the eighth.
Baltimore finally scored in the fifth on Derek Lee’s solo homer and RBI singles later in the inning from Nick Markakis and Adam Jones.
Brad Bergesen, who relieved Britton in the first, was knocked out of the game when he took a line drive from Ortiz off his
pitching arm. The ball bounced hard off Bergesen’s right forearm and rolled quickly to the third base line.
Bergesen chased down the ball and walked back to the mound, but didn’t throw another pitch and headed back to the dugout with a trainer as right-hander Chris Jakubauskas was called in from the bullpen. The Orioles said Bergesen had a bruised right forearm.
It was that kind of night for the Orioles.
Boston already led 1-0 when Ortiz came to bat with two on and hit a shot well into the right-field seats on a 1-0 pitch.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)