BALTIMORE (AP) — The Boston Red Sox scored five unearned runs in the sixth inning after a throwing error by first baseman Chris Davis and beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 on Wednesday night to pad their lead in the AL East.
Andrew Benintendi hit a three-run homer for the Red Sox, who will seek to complete a four-game sweep on Thursday night. Boston pulled five games ahead of Toronto and six in front of Baltimore with 10 games remaining.
Clay Buchholz (8-10) allowed one run and three hits over seven innings for the Red Sox. Boston’s seven-game winning streak, which began with a sweep of the Yankees, is its longest since an identical run early in the 2014 season.
The loss kept Baltimore a game behind the Blue Jays for the top AL wild card. The Orioles have lost five of seven, all at home, and scored only nine runs in their last five games.
Boston trailed 1-0 before rallying against All-Star reliever Brad Brach, who replaced Ubaldo Jimenez (7-12) with two on and one out in the sixth. Aaron Hill hit a dribbler in front of the mound and beat the throw to first base following a miscommunication between Brach and catcher Matt Wieters.
That loaded the bases for Jackie Bradley Jr., who struck out on a 3-2 pitch. Sandy Leon then hit a sharp grounder toward first base at Davis, who rushed an off-balance throw that whisked past Brach, allowing two runs to score.
Benintendi hit the next pitch over the wall in right field.
That all but assured the Red Sox their 12th win in 15 games. They have also won seven of eight on the road.
After Boston loaded the bases in the first inning but failed to score, the Orioles capitalized on the same situation in the third when Adam Jones hit a sacrifice fly.
The Red Sox again filled the bases in the fourth before Leon bounced into a 3-6-1 double play.
The next time Boston loaded the bases, two innings later, the Red Sox finally came through — albeit with a little help from Davis.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia was back in the lineup after being held out Tuesday to get treatment on his left knee. . 1B Hanley Ramirez is dealing with a sore left shoulder and got the night off. He is expected to return Thursday. . RHP Steven Wright (shoulder) threw from 120 feet at the team’s minor league facility in Fort Myers, Florida. He could throw a bullpen session this weekend.
Orioles: OF Steve Pearce underwent successful surgery on his forearm Wednesday.
Red Sox: LHP David Price (16-8, 3.91 ERA) brings a seven-game winning streak into the series finale.
Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman (16-6, 3.72) attempts to reach a career-high in wins and keep Baltimore afloat in the AL East.
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