Orioles 13, Red Sox 4
BOSTON (AP)—Rodrigo Lopez proved he can pitch as a reliever, and now he’s showing he can start, too.
The Baltimore right-hander had his best game since his promotion, and the Orioles pounded out 16 hits to beat the Red Sox 13-4 on Monday. It was the sixth consecutive game that Baltimore, which leads the AL with a .287 batting average, had at least 13 hits.
“To shut down a team like Boston, you are doing something,” Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. “This Red Sox team is explosive.”
The Orioles won their fourth consecutive game since losing seven in a row. B.J. Surhoff had four hits, including a 310-foot homer. Melvin Mora had four RBIs and three hits, including a homer, and Brian Roberts three hits, including a bases-clearing double in the seven-run sixth inning that broke open the game.
“It makes you feel more comfortable on the mound,” said Lopez, making his third start since moving into the rotation on May 20. “Knowing that they’re going to score runs, it makes you more relaxed.”
Lopez (4-2) gave up one run, four hits and two walks, striking out seven in 5 1-3 innings. He had allowed 11 runs in 9 2-3 innings in his previous two outings after posting a league-leading 0.33 ERA as a reliever.
“All the time I was in the bullpen, I was feeling pretty comfortable. But I like to start,” he said. “We all thought it would be better for the team.”
Derek Lowe (4-5) allowed seven runs, eight hits and four walks in five-plus innings, failing to strike out a batter and losing for the fourth time in his last five decisions. With his thumb bleeding from a cut, he was pulled after allowing the first five batters to reach safely in the sixth.
“I wish I could say it (the cut) affected me more than it did,” he said. “I’m at a loss for words. It’s been a two-month stretch where I’ve put myself in a lot of bad situations as far as baserunners. When that many guys get on base, … it snowballs.”
Boston dropped into second place in the AL East, percentage points behind the New York Yankees.
Surhoff curved one around the Pesky Pole in the second, and in the third Jerry Hairston singled, took second on a sacrifice, stole third and scored on Mora’s single. Baltimore made it 9-0 when in the sixth when the first seven batters reached base.
Lowe was lifted after he walked Hairston with the bases loaded. On Lenny DiNardo’s second pitch, Roberts doubled into the left-center gap to score three more. Mora then homered to give the Orioles a 9-0 lead.
Lopez had a four-hit shutout through five innings but left after David Ortiz walked with one out in the sixth. Jason Varitek’s RBI single made it 9-1, but Darwin Cubillan got Kevin Millar on a grounder to third and struck out Kevin Youkilis to end the inning.
Boston scored two more in the seventh on Johnny Damon’s double and Cubillan’s wild pitch before Eddy Rodriguez, making his major league debut, struck out Ortiz and Manny Ramirez and then got Varitek on a fly ball to endthe threat. Kevin Millar led off the eighth with a homer that made it 12-4.
Monday began a stretch of three series in three different time zones for the Red Sox. After playing the game with Baltimore to make up an April 13 rainout, the Red Sox had a two-game series in Anaheim followed by three in Kansas City. … Mazzilli said OF Jay Gibbons will likely return to action Tuesday night in New York. Gibbons has missed the last six games with back spasms. … The Red Sox have sold out 91 consecutive games, the third-longest streak in baseball history. … Ramirez has struck out in his last fiveat-bats.