Sox One Win Away From Best Record After Blasting Orioles, 12-3

With the season winding down, the Boston Red Sox show no signs of taking it easy on anybody. Friday night at Camden Yards proved to be yet another stop on the Sox most recent tour of mashing, piling it on the recently eliminated Baltimore Orioles, 12-3.  Boston collected 16 hits and three home runs en route to winning game number 97, the highest total since winning 98 in 2004. Something happened that season.

Orioles righty Scott Feldman dropped to 5-6 with Baltimore (12-12 overall), as Boston wasted no time in getting to him. The Sox collected three extra-base hits in the opening inning and came away with a 5-0 lead that would satisfy a solid performance by starter Clay Buccholz (12-1).  Daniel Nava launched his 12th home run of the season in the inning – a three-run shot – that sent the Red Sox on their way.

With Buchholz dealing, the Red Sox picked up three more runs in the third to push the game into blow-out mode at 8-0.  Jarrod Saltalamacchia launched what looked like a three-run homer that bounced off the right field bullpen wall, but was overturned on video review into an RBI double. A consolation prize for the Sox backstop would be in passing Carlton Fisk for the most doubles by a Red Sox catcher with 40. Stephen Drew followed later with a two-run single, ending the inning in a run-down.

The Orioles would get as close as 8-3 with a pair of long balls off Clay Buchholz. In the third, Adam Jones launched a 1-1 offering to center for his 33rd shot of the year, followed up by Chris Davis’ solo homer in the sixth inning, extending his franchise record with 53 home runs.

A nice moment for David Ortiz came in the eighth inning when he collected those three runs back with a three-run homer to the opposite field. For Papi, it was his 30th home run of the season, that gave him seven career seasons of 30+ home runs and 100+ RBI. The only other Sox player with that many was a nice, scrappy hitter by the name of Theodore Samuel Williams. Heard of him?

Ortiz's homer not only tied Williams for most 30 hr, 100 RBI seasons, but tied him on the all-time list with Orioles great Cal Ripken with 431.

Ortiz’s homer not only tied Williams for most 30 hr, 100 RBI seasons, but tied him on the all-time list with Orioles great Cal Ripken with 431.

Following another solo homer by Jonny Gomes (3-4, 3 R), and a tidy mop-up job by Koji Uehara, the Sox left with victory 97 and a great shot to seal the AL’s best record. Jon Lester will go for win 16 Saturday night against Wei-Yin Chen and an Orioles team that faded fast down the stretch.

Notables

Clay Buchholz – 7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB 4 K (Finishes year 12-1, 1.74 ERA)

Stephen Drew – 2-4, 3 RBI, Triple

Daniel Nava – 2-5 HR 3 RBI 2R

Jay Coorey – Senior MLB Contributor – Title Town Sports

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