BALTIMORE (AP) — David Ortiz hit two home runs, including a two-run drive in the 10th inning that lifted the Boston Red Sox past the Baltimore Orioles 5-3 Friday night.
Although the AL East-champion Orioles are still in the running for home-field advantage throughout the postseason, manager Buck Showalter rested several regulars, including Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis.
The most prominent starter in the lineup was Nelson Cruz, who had three hits, as did Alejandro De Aza.
In the race for best record in the AL, Baltimore fell three games behind the Los Angeles Angels, who faced Texas later Friday night.
Although last-place Boston long ago stopped playing meaningful games, this one carried some significance for Ortiz, now in his 12th season with the Red Sox.
He hit a solo shot in the fourth inning and connected in the 10th off Darren O’Day (5-2), his sixth multihomer game of the season and 47th of his career.
Ortiz now has 34 homers and 102 RBIs, the club-record eighth time he has had a 30/100 season — passing Ted Williams. At 38, Ortiz is the oldest major leaguer to go 30/100 since Frank Thomas did it at the same age in 2006.
Ortiz also moved into a second-place tie with Jim Rice for 100-RBI seasons with Boston, one behind Williams, who had nine. And, with 465 home runs, Ortiz moved into a tie with Dave Winfield for 33rd on the career list.
Junichi Tazawa (4-3) worked the ninth and Edward Mujica got three outs to secure his seventh save and end Boston’s five-game losing streak against Baltimore.
After Ortiz connected off rookie Kevin Gausman, Yoenis Cespedes followed with his fifth home run since coming to Boston, his 22nd overall.
That made it 2-1, and the Red Sox added an unearned run in the fifth.
In the seventh, the Orioles used a two-out double by De Aza, a pinch-hit triple by Delmon Young, and a throwing error by shortstop Xander Bogaerts to tie it.
Red Sox: It will take some time before INF Brock Holt (concussion) is ready to return.
“There are still some important steps he has to complete,” manager John Farrell said.
Also, 1B Mike Napoli (finger, toe) “will be mixed in there as we go through this final week,” Farrell said.
Orioles: Markakis missed a second straight game with a sore shoulder. He was struck with a pitch on Tuesday.
“It was not a glancing blow,” manager Buck Showalter said before the game. “Nicky’s pretty sore today, but he’s available.”
Winless in his last six starts, Red Sox right-hander Rubby De La Rosa (4-7, 4.31 ERA) tries to break the cycle Saturday night against the Orioles, who will start Chris Tillman (12-5, 3.29), their likely choice to pitch Game 1 of the playoffs.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)