BALTIMORE -- In the first matchup since a heated series at Fenway Park in the beginning of May, the focus was on the game Thursday night as the Orioles chased Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez after hitting four home runs.Despite a late push by the Red Sox in the ninth
BALTIMORE -- In the first matchup since a heated series at Fenway Park in the beginning of May, the focus was on the game Thursday night as the Orioles chased Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez after hitting four home runs.
Despite a late push by the Red Sox in the ninth inning, the O's held on for a 7-5 victory that moved Baltimore (28-24) within a half-game of Boston (29-24) for second place in the American League East and improved the Orioles' record to 20-11 against AL East opponents.
"It's not necessarily where you draw up home runs," O's manager Buck Showalter said. "It's just you're going to have to score runs in our division. We were 6-4 in our division in May. 20-11 for the year. There's not a recipe every night. It may sound that way when you take the body of work. That's the way it may look over the course of a season and rightfully so, but it doesn't always work that way. Especially as good as the pitching we've seen the last 10 or 15 games and will see the rest of this series."
Mark Trumbo started the O's home run frenzy off Rodriguez in the first with a two-run shot to left field. Chris Davis and Adam Jones each added a solo home run in the fourth and sixth, respectively, before Jonathan Schoop put the Orioles up, 7-1, with a three-run drive later in the sixth.
• O's sluggers finding their home run swings
The four home runs allowed tied Rodriguez's career high for a game. The lefty exited after allowing seven runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
"Those guys, when you miss, that's what happened," said Rodriguez. "They were making good contact and hitting homers."
• E-Rod slips in warmups, then against O's
Boston's offense was fairly quiet until the ninth. With two outs and two on, Jackie Bradley Jr. sent a three-run homer to deep center to cut the deficit to two.
"He's been driving the baseball here. Left-handers, right-handers, both," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Bradley. "He gets a breaking ball up from [Donnie Hart] that stays in the middle of the plate. And I think the biggest thing is, as Jackie is seeing pitches up, mislocated, he's letting it fly, and with good hard contact to the pull side and straightaway."
The offensive production supported a solid outing by Orioles starter Wade Miley, who allowed just one run on five hits and one walk and struck out three in seven innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Schoop seals E-Rod's night: With the O's already leading, 4-1, Rodriguez threw an 86-mph changeup to Schoop that caught too much of the plate. With two runners on, Schoop launched the ball 416 feet, per Statcast™, to left-center field at an exit velocity of 108.4 mph for a 7-1 lead.
"We know he likes his fastball," Schoop said. "He attacks the zone, and he left a couple of pitches right in the middle. He made a mistake and we made him pay for them."
Jones robs Mookie: The Orioles set the tone early when Jones robbed Mookie Betts of a potential leadoff home run. Betts drove the fifth pitch of the game to deep left-center field, but Jones had a bead on it right off the bat. The center fielder found the wall and leaped to rob Betts of what could have been his 10th home run at Camden Yards since 2016.
"It's a daggone good lineup over there," Miley said. "[Dustin Pedroia's] out, but there's no holes in that lineup. You've got to work through it. Mookie Betts leading off the game, he hit a home run, but Jonesy made a great play out there. Who knows where this game's at right now if that ball's two feet farther. Who knows? Fortunately, it worked out for us."
"Definitely getting deeper in the game [is most important], I'm not overly concerned about the walks. Obviously, I don't want to walk people. But at the same time, if I had walked seven guys tonight and got to the seventh inning, whatever. You know? You want to minimize them but at the same time I was just trying to get as deep in the game as possible." -- Miley, on the importance of pitching deeper in games
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Bradley's homer against Hart was his third this season against a left-hander, tying his career high.
Jones' sixth-inning home run that just cleared the left-field wall was confirmed on a crew chief replay review, granting the O's star his 10th homer.
Red Sox: Right-hander Rick Porcello, who is having a tough time living up to his AL Cy Young Award-winning season of a year ago, gets the ball Friday at 7:05 p.m. ET in Game 2 of this four-game series. Porcello has given up 22 hits over his past two starts. But he has at least minimized the damage, allowing six earned runs over 13 innings while going 1-1 in the two starts. In eight career starts at Camden Yards, Porcello is 2-4 with a 4.89 ERA.
Orioles:Alec Asher will take the mound Friday for his fourth start. Asher replaced Ubaldo Jimenez in the rotation Sunday, but lasted only two innings after giving up six runs on six hits. The righty is 1-3 with a 3.77 ERA.
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Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore and covered the Orioles on Thursday.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.