After taking two of three from the Toronto Blue Jays, the Boston Red Sox welcomed another division foe, the Baltimore Orioles to town for a four-game weekend series. The Orioles received a somewhat rude welcome to the ballpark, as the Red Sox used six home runs to help put up 10 runs on the board, routing the O's 10-4 in game number one.
Since the Yankees lost earlier tonight, the Red Sox moved into a half game lead over New York in the AL East.
After two solid innings from Oriole starter Jake Arrieta, the Red Sox bats started to wake up in the third inning. Arrieta walked both Marco Scutaro and Jacoby Ellsbury to begin the frame and then served up a 3-1 pitch to Dustin Pedroia, who crushed it over the monster for a three-run home run, putting the Red Sox on top 3-2.
The only run produced by the Red Sox that wasn't the result of a home run this evening came off a J.D. Drew RBI ground out in the fourth inning. But that's boring, let's get to the five other home runs the Red Sox hit tonight.
With one gone in the fifth inning, Adrian Gonzalez got in on the action as he crushed an opposite field homer off Arrieta, number 17 on the season for him to put the Sox up 5-3. In the sixth, Jacoby Ellsbury crushed another Arrieta offering into right field for a two-run shot, putting the Red Sox up 7-3.
Arrieta was out of the game at this point, and enter Pedro Viola in the seventh inning. This would not be an outing to remember for young Viola, who allowed the Red Sox to go back-to-back-to-back on solo home runs by David Ortiz, Josh Reddick, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia that eventually put the Red Sox up by a score of 10-4.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox got a very solid outing from left-hander Andrew Miller, who turned in five innings while allowing only three Oriole runs, which is fine when your offense is performing the way it did tonight. Miller's only trouble came in the first and third innings, where he allowed an RBI single to Adam Jones and an RBI ground out to Vladimir Guerrero in the first, and a sac-fly to J.J. Hardy in the third.
Miller did walk four Orioles tonight, but he was able to keep Baltimore in check more or less. The only other Oriole run came in the eighth inning when Alfredo Aceves allowed a run off a Derrek Lee RBI groundout, but that's all they could get in the end.
The Red Sox will look to extend their lead in the standings as they will send Josh Beckett to the hill to face Zach Britton or the Orioles at Fenway Park, first pitch at 7:10 p.m.