Such is life in the hard-hitting AL East.
“There’s not a recipe every night, but you’re going to have to score runs in our division,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after Baltimore’s 7-5 victory on Thursday night.
The Orioles used the long ball to build a 7-1 lead in the sixth inning — then held on.
“When everyone is kind of in a good place, that’s the kind of offence you’re going to see,” said Mark Trumbo, who started the outburst with a two-run drive in the first inning.
Chris Davis and Adam Jones went deep for a second straight night and Jonathan Schoop capped the surge with a three-run drive in the sixth.
After taking two of three from the AL East-leading New York Yankees, the Orioles opened a four-game series against another division rival with a feel-good victory.
“We’ve got to win these games to play in the post-season,” Baltimore starter Wade Miley said. “These games are very important.”
Miley (2-3) gave up five hits and a walk against the team he pitched for in 2015. Seeking his first win since April 14, the lefty did not allow a runner past first base after the second inning.
Rodriguez (4-2) surrendered seven runs in 5 2/3 innings, and the four homers tied a career high. The former Orioles farmhand came in with a four-game winning streak and a career 1.34 ERA in six starts at Camden Yards.
The left-hander tumbled off the mound in the bullpen during warmups before the game but did not use that as an excuse.
“I just missed my pitches,” Rodriguez said. “With those guys, when you miss, that will happen. They make contact and hit homers.”
Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning and Christian Vazquez had two RBIs for the Red Sox, who lost for only the third time in 11 games.
Manager John Farrell gave credit to Miley for keeping Boston off balance.
“When he gets into that rhythm, he picks up the pace, works quick and doesn’t let anyone really settle in,” Farrell said.
When the Orioles visited Boston during the first week of May, a series of brushback pitches and harsh words in both clubhouses led the commissioner’s office to intervene with instructions to end a feud that began in April with a spikes-high slide by Baltimore’s Manny Machado into Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
Before this game, Showalter expected no residual ill will in a series between two teams within baseball’s most competitive division.
“Your hands are full trying to stay with these guys as opposed to bringing in some unneeded drama,” he said.
There was no drama after Jones led off the sixth with a home run and Schoop chased Rodriguez in the same inning.
Earlier, Davis made it 3-1 in the fourth with his team-high 12th home run , the first long ball allowed by Rodriguez to a left-handed batter since Brett Gardner of the Yankees last July.
TAKE A SEAT
Red Sox: Mired in an 0-for-12 skid, rookie OF Andrew Benintendi did not start. “There’s going to be some ebbs and flows to the season. He’s in one of those now,” Farrell said. Benintendi flied out as a pinch hitter.
Orioles: LF Hyun Soo Kim played in only 11 games last month and spent the first day of June on the Baltimore bench.
Red Sox: LHP Robbie Ross Jr. was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket and placed on the 10-day DL with left elbow inflammation. Ross was optioned to Pawtucket on May 18 and did not pitch because of discomfort in his elbow. … Pedroia (left wrist sprain) appears to be on the mend. “The range of motion is starting to get there,” Farrell said.
Orioles: INF Ryan Flaherty, who went on the DL on May 19 with a right shoulder strain, should begin throwing next week.
Red Sox: Rick Porcello (3-6, 4.21 ERA) will start Friday night, looking to regain his 2016 Cy Young Award form after giving up 11 hits in each of his last two outings.
Orioles: Hit hard by Houston on Sunday in his first start with Baltimore, Alec Asher (1-3, 3.77 ERA) gets a second chance to prove he’s worthy of replacing struggling Ubaldo Jimenez in the rotation.