Sox pound O's, inch closer to AL best record
BALTIMORE — David Ortiz and Daniel Nava both hit three-run homers for Boston on Friday night as the Red Sox rolled to a 12-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
This win moved Boston (97-63) one step closer to locking up home-field advantage throughout the American League playoffs. One more Red Sox victory or Oakland loss clinches the top spot for Boston. Oakland played late Friday night at Seattle.
The Red Sox did most of their damage in the first three innings, getting eight runs on 10 hits. They scored five in the first and three in the third for an 8-0 lead on the Orioles (83-77)
Boston showed plenty of power, finishing with three homers that brought in seven of its 12 runs. The Red Sox also ended up with 16 hits.
Nava went 2-for-5 and drove in three runs, all of which came on his homer in the five-run first. Ortiz’s three-run home run came in the eighth as he was the first batter Mike Belfiore faced in his major-league debut.
It was Ortiz’s 30th home run, the seventh time he’s hit 30 homers or more in a season with Boston. He’s now second all-time in Red Sox history in that statistic, behind only Ted Williams (eight). Belfiore also gave up the final Boston homer, a solo shot from Jonny Gomes in the ninth.
Stephen Drew also had a big night. The shortstop went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, driving in one run on a triple and two more on a single.
Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz was looking to rebound after suffering his first loss of the season in his last start, and that big first inning gave the right-hander a comfortable lead before throwing a pitch.
Buchholz (12-1) went seven innings and gave up three runs on seven hits to end the regular season on a good note.
The Red Sox took command with a five-run first inning against Orioles starter Scott Feldman (5-6). Dustin Pedroia and Ortiz started the inning with back-to-back, one-out singles before Mike Napoli’s RBI double gave the Red Sox a 1-0 edge.
Nava then crushed a pitch from Feldman for the three-run homer to right and a 4-0 lead. Drew later added an RBI triple to cap the five-run first inning that Feldman needed 32 pitches to get through.
Feldman ran into more trouble in the third, giving up an RBI double to Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The hit was originally ruled a three-run homer, but after video review, the umpires changed it to an RBI double. That gave Boston a 6-0 lead and ended Feldman’s night.
The right-hander has been one of Baltimore’s most effective pitchers in the last six weeks, but the Red Sox got to him for eight runs and eight hits in just 2 1/3 innings.
Zach Britton took over for Feldman, and Drew greeted him with a two-run single for an 8-0 lead.
Adam Jones helped the Orioles answer in the bottom of that inning, belting a two-run homer off Buchholz, cutting the lead to 8-2.Notes: 1B Chris Davis returned to the lineup after missing Thursday’s game with the Blue Jays because of a sore foot. Manager Buck Showalter had said Davis was day to day and he hoped he’d return for this series. ... One win in the final three-game series would give the Orioles the season series against Boston. If the Orioles do that, they’d be the only American League East team to take a season series with the Red Sox this year. .. Nava’s home run was his first since Sept. 4 when he hit one against the Tigers. ... Saltalamacchia extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his third-inning double