|David Ortiz bashed his 30th homer of the year Friday night during a|
12-3 rout of Baltimore at Camden Yards (Getty Images)
Jan-Christian Sorensen Contributing Writer
Same story, different city.
The Red Sox picked up right where they left off in Colorado on Friday night, bashing three home runs en route to a 12-3 plucking of the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
Two nights after hitting three homers in a 15-5 rout of the Rockies, Daniel Nava, David Ortiz and Jonny Gomes went deep as the Sox out-hit the O’s 16-8 to improve to an MLB-best 97-63.
It marks the most wins for the Sox since 2004 and assures Boston will open the American League Division Series at home in Fenway Park Oct. 4.
In Seattle, Oakland topped the Mariners 8-2 to boost its AL West-best record to 95-65 and also clinch home-field advantage in the other ALDS after Detroit (93-67) fell 3-2 to Miami.
One more Boston win or Oakland loss in the two remaining regular-season games this weekend equals home-field advantage for the Red Sox throughout October.
Clay Buchholz went seven innings, scattering seven hits and walking none while striking out four to earn the win and end the regular season at 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA. The three runs he allowed came on a pair of home runs by Adam Jones and Chris Davis — the first time Buchholz has been taken deep in a game since May 17.
Craig Breslow and Koji Uehara came on in relief and split the final two innings in scoreless fashion to lock down the victory for Buchholz.
The Boston bats tagged Baltimore starter Scott Feldman for eight runs on eight hits in just 2.1 innings of work as the righthander took the loss to fall to 12-12 on the year. Lefty Mike Belfiore made his major-league debut late in the game in ignominious fashion, working an inning and a third and giving up home runs to both Ortiz and Gomes to see his maiden ERA quickly balloon to 13.50.
With the win, the Sox now trail Baltimore 9-8 in the season series.
Here are the four at-bats that changed the game:
1) No Trouble With The Curve: In the first, and after Mike Napoli doubled to drive in Dustin Pedroia and push David Ortiz to third with one out, Daniel Nava crushed the first curve ball he saw from Feldman deep to right field to put Boston up 4-0.
2) Three Of One, A Quarter-Dozen Of The Other: In the third with one out and two men on, Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a Feldman cutter to right that bounced off the top of the bullpen dugout and appeared to be a three-run home run. After a quick review in the tunnel, however, the umpires overturned the decision and ruled it a double, allowing Nava to score from second but holding Jonny Gomes at third and Salty at second. After Zach Britton relieved Feldman, however, Stephen Drew made the overturned call a moot point when he singled to center to drive in both runners and give Boston an 8-0 lead.
3) In Good Company: In the eighth inning, David Ortiz hit a three-run bomb to left to put the Sox up 11-3, notch his 30th homer of the year and push his RBI total to 103. With the blast, Ortiz recorded his seventh 30-100 season in a Red Sox uniform and his first since 2010. The only other Boston player to record that feat? The Splendid Splinter himself, Ted Williams.
4) Coup De Gomes: Jonny Gomes polished off the night by stroking his 13th homer of the year to left field to give Boston a 12-3 lead.
Tomorrow, Jon Lester (15-8, 3.67 ERA) takes the mound for the Red Sox in Game Two against Wei-Yin Chen (7-7, 4.03 ERA). First pitch goes at 7:05 p.m. EST.
Twitter: @jan_doh Jan-Christian Sorensen 9/28/2013 05:41:00 AM Tweet