Bogaerts, AL wild card-leading Bosox top O’s, 4th win in row

Sep 18, 2021, 1:32 AM | Updated: 3:31 pm
Boston Red Sox's Xander Bogaerts, right, celebrates his three-run home run in front of Baltimore Or...

Boston Red Sox's Xander Bogaerts, right, celebrates his three-run home run in front of Baltimore Orioles' Austin Wynns, left, that also drove in Hunter Renfroe (10) during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

BOSTON (AP) — Xander Bogaerts homered and drove in four runs, carrying the AL wild card-leading Boston Red Sox past the Baltimore Orioles 9-3 Saturday for their fourth straight win.

The Red Sox are one game ahead of Toronto and 1 1/2 games in front of the rival Yankees in the playoff chase.

“It’s fun being able to go out there to help your team,” Bogaerts said. “We know every game is huge now.”

Bobby Dalbec added a two-run double, and Hunter Renfroe and Rafael Devers each drove in a run for Boston. Bogaerts and Devers both had three hits.

Ryan Mountcastle hit his 30th homer, a two-run shot, and Austin Wynns added a solo drive for the Orioles, who lost for the 11th time in the last 12 meetings against the Red Sox after sweeping a season-opening three-game series between the teams.

Bogaerts’ three-run shot hit off a billboard atop the Green Monster against reliever Mike Baumann (1-1) after Renfroe had an RBI double and Devers singled during a game-breaking, four-run sixth.

Bogaerts also had a go-ahead, RBI single in the fifth, making it 4-3.

“We all know where we are,” he said. “We just have to go out there and try to continue to win games.”

Tanner Houck (1-4) earned the win, working 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

“Having that today was a different experience,” said Houck, who was a starting pitcher in 12 of his previous 14 appearances this season. “It’s about going out there and putting the team in a good a spot to win.”

Trailing 2-0, the Red Sox scored three times in the bottom of the first on Devers’ RBI single and Dalbec’s two-out double.

The Orioles had a 2-0 lead after just two pitches against starter Nick Pivetta when Cedric Mullins doubled off the left-field wall and Mountcastle followed with hit his shot into the Monster seats.

“When you have a season like this, you’re looking for bright spots to build on,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said of his team’s major league-high 101st loss.

Mountcastle’s drive came a day after he surpassed Cal Ripken Jr.’s record (28) for most homers by an Orioles rookie.

Wynns’ shot left Fenway Park completely over the Monster in the second.

Pivetta gave up three runs on seven hits, striking out one and walking three.

THAT’S RELIEF

Boston’s bullpen has given up just two runs in the last 36 2/3 innings (0.49 ERA) and zero in the last 22.

STRATEGY

Red Sox manager Alex Cora maneuvered his pitchers like a playoff game, pulling Pivetta after 2 2/3 innings with two runners on. He lifted left-handed reliever Darwinzon Hernandez with two on and one out in the fifth for a right-handed pitcher vs. right-handed hitter matchup, bringing in Houck.

“When we have to be aggressive, we’re going to be aggressive,” Cora said of the moves. “Today, we had to be aggressive.”

BETTER START

Baltimore starter Zac Lowther gave up three runs — all in the first inning — over 3 1/3 innings. In his previous start Monday against Toronto, the lefty lasted just two innings, allowing seven runs in a 22-7 loss to the Blue Jays.

“I’m trying to roll with the punches,” he said. “My stuff’s not where I want it to be.”

LOOK OUT

Baltimore’s Richie Martin had the bat slip out of his hands and go flying into the stands behind the home plate. No one appeared to be injured.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: Hyde said INF Trey Mancini, C Pedro Severino and INF Ramon Urías, who were all out of the lineup, would see spot duty the rest of the season due to nagging injuries.

Red Sox: INF Christian Arroyo (on the COVID-19 related injured list since Aug. 27) is on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester and could be activated soon.

UP NEXT

LHP Alexander Wells (1-3, 7.76 ERA) is set to go for the Orioles in the series finale on Sunday afternoon against Red Sox RHP Nathan Eovaldi (10-8, 3.52). It would be Boston’s fifth consecutive game against a lefty starter.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez of Mexico powers his car during first practice session for the Japanes...
Associated Press

Verstappen set to win a second straight F1 season title

SUZUKA, Japan (AP) — Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc knows it. So does anyone following Formula One; no calculators needed. Red Bulls’ Max Verstappen is set to win his second straight drivers’ title, and it’s likely to come on Sunday with rain predicted for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. Friday’s two practice sessions were run in […]
1 day ago
Indianapolis Colts safety Rodney Thomas II (25) and linebacker Zaire Franklin (44) celebrate after ...
Associated Press

Colts grind out 12-9 win over Broncos in injury-filled game

DENVER (AP) — Matt Ryan kept the faith through all the sacks, interceptions, fumbles and three-and-outs that made for a streaming snooze-fest Thursday night. “It was just kind of a slog of a game,” the Indianapolis quarterback said after Stephon Gilmore batted away Russell Wilson’s pass to Courtland Sutton in the end zone on fourth-and-1 […]
1 day ago
Fans of Gimnasia de La Plata choke on tear gas during a local tournament match between Gimnasia de ...
Associated Press

Police, fans clash outside Argentine soccer match; 1 dead

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — At least one person died while police clashed with soccer fans trying to push into an Argentine league match Thursday night, and the referee stopped the game as clouds of tear gas spread inside the stadium. Authorities and witnesses said fans of the home team, Gimnasia y Esgrima, struggled to […]
1 day ago
Tom Hoge tees off on the 13th hole during the first round of the Shriners Children's Open golf tour...
Associated Press

Tom Hoge rides a pair of eagles to 63, Las Vegas lead

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tom Hoge wanted to be sure to take advantage of pristine conditions Thursday morning in Las Vegas. He did more than he expected, making two eagles on his way to an 8-under 63 for a one-shot lead in the Shriners Children’s Open. One of the eagles came with a gap wedge […]
1 day ago
New York Mets' Francisco Lindor speaks during a news conference the day before a wild-card baseball...
Associated Press

Star-studded Padres and Mets square off in wild-card round

NEW YORK (AP) — For two teams that finished second fiddle in their divisions, the Padres and Mets bring an awful lot of star power into the playoffs. Manny Machado, Juan Soto and Yu Darvish on the San Diego side. Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and Francisco Lindor for New York — just to name a […]
1 day ago
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush (10) throws a pass in the first half of a NFL football game ...
Associated Press

‘Cooper Clutch’ as QB Rush stays perfect for Cowboys

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Cooper Rush shrugs at what he calls “QB win stats,” seeming to skip the logic that it’s the most important measure of a quarterback. Winning is all Rush has done for the Dallas Cowboys in four games as an injury replacement for Dak Prescott, including three times this season after Prescott […]
1 day ago
Bogaerts, AL wild card-leading Bosox top O’s, 4th win in row