Boston Red Sox beat O's in AL East battle
BALTIMORE — Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 23 games and drove in two runs, Jackie Bradley put Boston ahead for good with a sixth-inning homer and the Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-2 Monday in a matchup of the top two teams in the AL East.
David Ortiz and rookie Marco Hernandez also homered for the Red Sox, who stretched their division lead to two games. Both drives came in a four-run eighth.
Knuckleballer Steven Wright (5-4) pitched a four-hitter, striking out seven and walking five in his third straight complete game.
Mookie Betts scored twice on RBIs by Bogaerts before Bradley connected off Tyler Wilson (2-4) leading off the sixth. Bradley's 29-game hitting streak, which ended last week, is the only one this season longer than Bogaerts' career-best run.
Ortiz led off the eighth with his 14th home run and Hernandez added a three-run shot to send many in the crowd of 43,926 up the exit ramps. Hernandez's first major league homer came in his 10th game.
Ryan Flaherty doubled in a run and scored one for the Orioles, who have lost six of eight.
Wilson gave up three runs and eight hits over 6 2-3 innings in losing his third straight start.
Limited to an infield hit over the first four innings, Baltimore temporarily solved Wright's fluttering knuckler in the fifth. Nolan Reimold tripled, Flaherty doubled, Caleb Joseph snapped an 0-for-19 skid with a single and Adam Jones delivered a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 2.
The deadlock lasted only until Bradley crushed Wright's third pitch of the following inning.
Boston got a first-inning run when Betts scored from second base on Bogaerts' dribbler down the third-base line. Bogaerts was thrown out, but neither Wilson nor Joseph, the catcher, got back to cover the plate. Replays indicated the ball bounced off Bogaerts' foot in foul ground, but such plays are not reviewable.
Bogaerts hit an RBI double in the third following singles by Betts and Dustin Pedroia.
Red Sox: Bogaerts' two doubles increased Boston's major-league leading total to 133, but Ortiz's career-high run of six straight games with a double came to an end.
Orioles: Flaherty's fifth-inning double was his second in 61 at-bats this season and produced his second RBI.
Red Sox: Placed on the concussion list May 20, utility man Brock Holt has ramped up his baseball-related activities. But there is no timetable for his return, manager John Farrell said. ... Ortiz returned after sitting out Sunday's game in Toronto with a sore left foot.
Orioles: RHP Yovani Gallardo (shoulder tendinitis) will begin his rehabilitation assignment on Thursday and with 40-60 pitches in a minor league game. ... SS J.J. Hardy (broken foot) will have a CAT scan Friday. He hopes to be cleared to begin baseball-related activities.
Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez (right knee) comes off the disabled list to make his season debut, starting on the mound Tuesday night against the organization that drafted him. Rodriquez went 0-3 in five rehab starts with Triple-A Pawtucket.
Orioles: Starting for the eighth time this season, Kevin Gausman (0-2, 3.24 ERA) makes another run at his first win.
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