BOSTON (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles felt fortunate to fall only one game further behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East standings.
The Orioles managed just four hits and struck out eight times in a 13-2 rout against the first-place Red Sox on Tuesday night. Baltimore dropped 6 1/2 games behind Boston in the division race.
“You’ve got a team playing well over there. That’s why they are where they are,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “If you make some mistakes, especially in this park, you’re going to pay for it. Thank goodness it was one night and that’s what’s great about the game. We get to wipe the slate clean tomorrow.”
Shane Victorino homered twice and drove in a career-high seven runs to lead the Red Sox. Felix Doubront pitched 6 2/3 innings of four-hit ball.
Victorino also had a two-run double in the seventh, and Dustin Pedroia had three hits for Boston.
J.J. Hardy and Danny Valencia each had two of Baltimore’s four hits. Wei-Yin Chen (7-7) lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits and three walks. He struck out five and hit a batter.
“He just had a little bit of trouble throwing the off-speed stuff for strikes,” catcher Matt Wieters said. “It’s a good lineup over there. If the only pitch you can really command is your fastball, they’re going to be able to just jump on it a little bit.”
Doubront (10-6) had only one bad inning, allowing the first four batters in Baltimore’s two-run third to reach. But he retired 14 of the next 16 before leaving to a standing ovation from the Fenway Park crowd of 36,226.
“We had one opportunity against him and cashed in two, but there was potential for more,” Showalter said. “He pitched well and we did not pitch well.
Doubront gave up two runs on four hits, a walk and a hit batsman. He struck out seven and has allowed three or fewer runs in 21 of 24 starts.
Victorino started the scoring in the first when he walked, took third on Pedroia’s double and scored on David Ortiz’s sacrifice fly. After Doubront allowed his only runs in the third to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead, Boston came back in the bottom half with two when Will Middlebrooks singled and scored on Victorino’s two-run shot — the 100th homer of his career.
Mike Napoli led off the fourth with a homer to spark a five-run inning and chase Chen. Boston added three more in the fifth on Victorino’s second homer.
The Red Sox started a nine game homestand after playing 16 of the previous 19 on the road. They were 4-2 on their most recent trip, to California to play the Giants and Dodgers. In all, the Red Sox will play 18 of their final 30 games at home.
NOTES: Baltimore INF Wilson Betemit made his 2013 debut after sustaining a knee injury in spring training. He grounded out to third for the final out of the game in his only at-bat. To make room for him, the Orioles optioned infielder Ryan Flaherty to Single-A Frederick. … Red Sox infield prospect Xander Bogaerts made his Fenway debut as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning. … To honor the Red Sox’s connection with the Jimmy Fund, “God Bless America” was sung during the seventh-inning stretch by a patient at the Dana Farber cancer clinic, 4-year-old Darla Holloway, who has acute lymphoblastic leukemia. … Red Sox starters have held opponents to two or fewer runs in seven straight games. … Pedroia is batting .424 (14-for-33) with 6 doubles, a triple, 4 RBIs, and 7 runs over his current eight-game hit streak. … It was Chen’s fourth loss in five starts. … Victorino is the first Red Sox player with four runs and seven RBIs in a game since Dwight Evans in 1988.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)