David Ortiz hit his 536th home run to tie Mickey Mantle for 17th on baseball’s career list, and David Price allowed just a pair of solo homers to lead the Red Sox over the Baltimore Orioles 12-2 on Monday night and protect Boston’s lead in the AL East.
Chris Young homered, doubled twice and singled, and Hanley Ramirez also homered for the Red Sox, who maintained a two-game lead over Toronto.
The Red Sox won for the fifth time in six games, scoring in each of the first seven innings before going down in order in the eighth. Ramirez hit his eighth homer in his last 15 games as Boston, the top-scoring team in the majors, got 11 runs or more for the fifth time in 10 games.
Price (16-8) allowed two runs on two hits and zero walks, striking out nine in eight innings for his seventh straight victory. It’s the longest winning streak in his career for the left-hander, who signed a seven-year, $217 million free agent contract over the offseason.
Former Red Sox starter Wade Miley (8-13) got just four outs, allowing five runs in the first inning before loading the bases in the second.
Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts led off the bottom of the first with singles and then Ortiz lined one to the warning track in left-center. Left fielder Steve Pearce jumped to glove the ball, but it came out as he tried to avoid crashing into the Green Monster.
Bogaerts had already begun retreating to first before Ortiz, rounding the bag, signaled for him to run in the other direction. The Orioles claimed Pearce had possession of the ball before dropping it, but the review upheld the original call and Ortiz had a single.
Mookie Betts then hit a liner that stymied Pearce and went over his head for a double. When Ramirez followed with a single to left, Pearce was nonchalant in getting the ball back in; Betts, having stopped at third, scored to make it 4-0.
Miley finally recorded an out, then got another on Sandy Leon’s sacrifice fly that gave Boston a 5-0 lead. Jackie Bradley Jr. was caught stealing to end the inning.
Boston scored single runs in each of the next five innings, including Ortiz’s 33rd homer of the year into the Baltimore bullpen in the sixth. The Red Sox scored two more in the seventh.
Orioles: RHP Darren O’Day is scheduled to pitch in a simulated game on Tuesday. He has been on the DL since Aug. 12 with a right shoulder rotator cuff strain.
Red Sox: Knuckleballer Steven Wright hasn’t resumed throwing yet. Manager John Farrell said he is getting better from a right shoulder strain but it will be challenging to get him ready with just a few weeks left in the season.
Orioles: Game 2 of the series is Tuesday night, with righty Dylan Bundy (8-5) scheduled to start.
Red Sox: Lefty Drew Pomeranz will start for Boston.
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