BOSTON (AP)—Bruce Chen felt like Boston’s batters were looking for his changeup, so he fooled them with his curveball.
Chen rebounded from a rough start against the Red Sox with seven strong innings Monday night, helping the Baltimore Orioles to an 8-4 victory over Boston, which might have lost David Wells to an injury.
“They seemed like they had a pretty good idea when it was coming,” Chen said. “I used my curve in key situations, especially when I needed to get an out. I had good control of it today.
Wells (2-3) left in the fourth inning with a sprained right foot. Wells, who held Baltimore to three hits over eight shutout innings last Wednesday, walked gingerly back to the mound after trying to field Javy Lopez’s slow roller. A trainer went out to the mound, but Wells remained in the game for five more batters before leaving.
“David Wells is being evaluated now at Beth Israel,” said Boston manager Terry Francona, referring to a local hospital. “Right now it’s a foot sprain and he’s going through all of the tests that are appropriate.”
B. J. Surhoff hit a two-run homer, and Brian Roberts continued his torrid start by going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a pair of stolen bases for the Orioles, winners of 12 of their last 17 games.
Chen (2-1) kept the Red Sox batters off balance most of the night by mixing in a soft curveball and a changeup. He allowed three runs on nine hits in six-plus innings, while walking three and striking out three. Last week, in an 8-0 loss to the Red Sox, he held them hitless for four innings before giving up five runs over the next 2 1-3.
After being shutout in consecutive games by the Red Sox in Baltimore last week, the Orioles, who were 6-3 at Fenway Park last season, scored one in the first, two in the second and three in the fourth to open a 6-2 lead.
Jason Varitek homered in the sixth inning for the Red Sox.
“That was huge to get a good hitter like Renteria, Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli said.
Baltimore jumped ahead 2-1 in the second. Luis Matos had an RBI double after Lopez walked and B. J. Surhoff singled. One out later, first baseman David Ortiz misplayed Geronimo Gil’s grounder, allowing Surhoff to score.
Baltimore chased Wells with three runs in the fourth. Surhoff homered into the first row of the right-field seats after Lopez reached on an infield hit. Surhoff entered hitting .339 (19-for-56) in his career against Wells.
“Boomer and I have been going against each other since 1987,” Surhoff said. “There’s no secrets. He left a ball up.”
Wells gave up six runs and eight hits in 3 2-3 innings. Wells entered Monday’s game with a 15-inning scoreless string over his past two starts, both Boston shutouts.
In addition to Wells’ injury, reliever Matt Mantei left in the seventh after spraining his left ankle backing up third.
“Matt Mantei rolled his ankle, Francona said. “We would have left him in if the game was tied. Well evaluate him (Tuesday).”
Roberts’ RBI double off reliever Blaine Neal in the sixth made it 7-2. Varitek homered into the seats above the Green Monster in the bottom half.
In the eighth, Matos scored on Varitek’s throwing error on an attempted pickoff to make it 8-3. Ortiz scored when Matos bobbled Varitek’s double off the center-field wall in the bottom half.
Baltimore grabbed the early lead when Roberts singled on the game’s first pitch, stole second on the next one, stole third with one out and scored on Miguel Tejada’s grounder to short.
Boston came back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first on RBI singles by Renteria and Kevin Millar.
Ramirez was moved to DH because manager Terry Francona said he was “banged up.” Ramirez left a game early last Tuesday with a sore quadriceps muscle. … Ortiz played first base for the first time this season and Millar was moved from first to left. Wells was the first Red Sox starting pitcher to be part of shutouts in consecutive starts since Pedro Martinez did it in 2002. … Sammy Sosa struck out four times and had an infield hit after hitting a pair of solo homers Sunday in Toronto.