Red Sox rout Orioles, 12-3, behind Buchholz and long balls
Boston Red Sox's Mike Napoli, center, celebrates with Daniel Nava in front of Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters after Nava's three-run home run in the first inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, left, greets Jonny Gomes in the dugout after Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia scored on a single by Stephen Drew in the third inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter watches from the dugout in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
BALTIMORE – Clay Buchholz allowed three runs over seven innings as the AL East champion Boston Red Sox routed the Baltimore Orioles, 12-3, last night and moved closer to securing home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
Daniel Nava and David Ortiz hit three-run homers for Boston, which opened an 8-0 lead by the third inning. Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a three-run drive overturned in a video review.
Dustin Pedroia had three hits for the Red Sox, who would clinch the AL’s best record with another win or a loss by Oakland, which played Seattle later last night.
Chris Davis hit his major league-leading 53rd homer in the sixth.
Given a big lead before his first pitch, Buchholz (12-1) rebounded from a loss to Toronto last weekend. Adam Jones hit a two-run homer in the third, the first home run by a right-handed hitter off Buchholz this year,
Buchholz gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings, with his ERA rising from 1.60 to 1.74. He threw 106 pitches, his most since a lengthy stint on the disabled list caused by a strained neck, and improved to 6-0 with a 1.40 ERA in seven road starts this year. He is 4-0 with a 1.74 ERA in his last four starts against Baltimore.
Scott Feldman (5-6) gave up eight runs and eight hits in 2 1∕ 3 innings for the Orioles, who have lost seven of nine.
Boston hit for the cycle as a team in the first, when Mike Napoli hit an RBI double, Nava sent a first-pitch curveball in the right-field bleachers, and Stephen Drew hit an RBI triple.
Saltalamacchia’s drive off Feldman in the third hit the top side of the cushion atop the right-field wall and caromed back onto the field. After the play was initially ruled a home run, umpires reviewed the video and gave Saltalamacchia a double that left two on. Drew followed with a two-run single off Zach Britton.
Ortiz homered in the eighth and Jonny Gomes connected for a solo shot. Both came against Mike Belfiore in his major league debut.
∎ Red Sox OF Shane Victorino sat out with a nagging thumb injury. “Fully expect he’ll be in the lineup tomorrow,” Manager John Farrell said.
∎ Napoli went 1-for-3 with two walks in his return to Boston’s lineup after missing four games with a left foot injury, and CF Jacoby Ellsbury was 0-for-4 in his second game after missing 16 with a broken right foot.
∎ A handful of Red Sox players debuted a new slogan before the game, wearing red T-shirts that read: “3 lines, 2 Chainz, 1 goal.”
∎ Davis’s homer was his 28th at home, breaking the franchise record set by Frank Robinson in Memorial Stadium in 1966. Davis was back in the lineup after missing one game with a sore right foot. An X-ray on Thursday showed nothing worrisome. “It was more about just letting me catch my breath,” Davis said.
∎ Jones’s homer was his career-best 33rd, one more than last year.