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Victorino powers Red Sox in rout over Orioles

The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- The Red Sox returned from a 4-2 West Coast road trip and opened a nine-game homestand with a bang Tuesday night.

Mostly a Shane Victorino bang.

"I don't know that you can do much better," Red Sox manager John Farrell said after Victorino hit two home runs, drove in seven runs and was on base all five times up to power Boston to a 13-2 rout of the Baltimore Orioles.

Victorino, who has continued playing through hamstring and back issues that have dogged him for most of the season, led the Red Sox to their third straight win and to a 2 1/2-game lead over Tampa Bay in the AL East.

The right fielder walked and scored in the first inning and hit a two-run homer, the 100th home run of his career, in the third inning. He was hit by a pitch and scored in the fourth, ripped a three-run homer in the fifth and finished his offensive outburst with a two-run double in the seventh inning.

His seven RBIs were a career high.

The top of the Red Sox lineup, leadoff hitter Jacoby Ellsbury, Victorino and Dustin Pedroia combined to go 9-for-13 with nine RBIs, eight runs scored and six extra base hits.

"It's a fun offense to watch when we're all going on all cylinders," Victorino said.

Batting only right-handed these days because of the hamstring issue, Victorino is on a nine-game tear where he is 16-for-36 with nine extra base hits, including the second two-homer game of the his career.

Hardly known as a home run hitter, he leads the Red Sox with seven in August.

Asked about how much he's hurting, Victorino said, "That's for me to know and for you not to know."

Felix Doubront, getting huge offensive support for the second straight start, gave up two runs and struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings. The Red Sox have scored 25 runs in Doubront's (10-6) past two starts.

"It's good," he said of the offense. "Pitching with that lead, with confidence, never give up. Just throwing my game, mixing my pitches; don't think about the lead. It's zero-zero."

But it wasn't.

The Red Sox chased Wei-Lin Chen (7-7) in 3 2/3 innings, the shortest start of Chen's career. The eight runs is the most he's allowed in a game.

"You've got a team playing well over there. That's why they are where they are," said Baltimore manager Buck Showalter, whose team has dominated the Red Sox in recent history, but certainly didn't on Monday night. "If you make some mistakes, especially in this park, you're going to pay for it."

Said catcher Matt Wieters: "We got our butts kicked tonight. There's no doubt about that. But it's over now. It's just a loss now. Whether we lost 2-1 or like we did tonight, it's one loss and we're going to move forward."

The Red Sox, who lost 93 games last year, started a stretch that will see them play 18 of their last 30 games at home where they are 41-23.

"We're a long way from where we want to be," Victorino said. "Being in a position to control your own destiny, that's where you want to be."

NOTES: Victorino's seven RBIs were the most by a Red Sox since J.D. Drew had seven June 8, 2007, and the most by a Red Sox player at Fenway Park since Nomar Garciaparra had eight on July 23, 2002. He was also the first Boston player with seven RBIs and four runs scored since Dwight Evans accomplished the feat on Aug. 18, 1988. ... The Orioles activated INF Wilson Betemit from the 60-day disabled list. He missed the entire season after suffering a knee injury in March and entered the game late. INF Ryan Flaherty was sent to high Class-A Frederick to make room for Betemit on the roster. ... The Red Sox completed a Triple-A deal with the Kansas City Royals, acquiring speedy OF Quintin Berry for RHP Clayton Mortensen. ... RHP John Lackey, who has pitched better than his 8-11 record (3.17 ERA), faces Baltimore's Bud Norris in the second game of the series Wednesday night. Norris is 3-0 and the Orioles are 5-0 in Norris' five starts with his new team. ... Both teams have key pitchers making rehab starts this week: Baltimore RHP Jason Hammel (right arm) on Thursday and Boston RHP Clay Buchholz (neck, right shoulder) on Friday.
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