BALTIMORE — The Red Sox drew power from a bit of an unlikely source Saturday night, and it helped them come up with a big victory.
Stephen Drew homered twice and drove in five RBIs, helping the Boston Red Sox to a 7-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
Drew entered the game with five homers and 32 RBI in 71 games. However, he hit a three-run homer early and a two-run homer later, finishing 3-for-4 and three runs scored. That helped the Red Sox (62-43) win and stay one-half game behind Tampa Bay in the American League East as the Rays (62-42) edged New York, 1-0, earlier in the afternoon.
“The past couple games I’ve felt good at the plate, and had no luck,” Drew said. “It’s just good to kind of turn around and get a good outcome…and it’s a good win.”
Drew hit a three-run shot in the fourth and added his two-run homer in the sixth. The two homers and five RBIs both tied career highs that Drew posted while playing with Arizona. He hit two homers on Aug. 25, 2010 and drove in five runs on July 28, 2011.
The two-run homer initially was ruled an inside-the-park shot. However, Boston manager John Farrell requested a review by the umpires, and they confirmed the ball should have been ruled a home run based on where it hit the right-field fence, giving the Red Sox a 6-1 lead.
“We got some balls where we didn’t want to get them, and he’s always had some pop,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “That hurt us tonight. We couldn’t keep him in the park.”
Boston’s only problem in this game came when designated hitter David Ortiz couldn’t stay in the game, being ejected by home plate umpire Tim Timmons after striking out in the seventh.
The long-time DH then smashed the covers of two phones on the dugout wall-with Dustin Pedroia sitting very close by and covering up.
“I got 17 years in the league and I don’t think I deserve to be disrespected like that,” Ortiz said. “You want to get respect from the players, you respect the players. That was horrible.”
Pedroia came over to Ortiz and tried to say a few things when he got tossed.
“I’m sure it was pretty funny; the smallest guy out there yelling at the biggest guy,” Pedroia said.
Boston finished with three homers on the night as Shane Victorino added a solo shot to start the seventh for a 7-2 lead. He drove in two runs and combined with Drew for all of the Boston RBIs.
All that power helped starter Ryan Dempster improve to 6-8 this season. The right-hander gave up two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings, ending a streak of four straight no-decisions.
Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara then combined to hold the Orioles (58-47) to one run over the final 3 2/3 innings.
Baltimore starter Scott Feldman (2-2) lasted five innings and gave up four runs on six hits with Drew’s three-run homer giving Boston command.
Boston took the lead in the third on Jacoby Ellsbury’s RBI single. Orioles catcher Matt Wieters would have been called for catcher’s interference as Ellsbury’s swing nicked his glove.
But the rule book says if the runner gets a hit, the play simply continues. Drew scored moments later when Victorino grounded out slowly to second for a 1-0 lead.
Drew then made it 4-0 with his three-run homer off Feldman in the fourth.
“He’s very much a rhythm hitter,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “He needs regular at-bats to get his timing. Hopefully, that’s a sign of things to come.
The Orioles got on the board thanks to a Brian Roberts RBI single in the fifth. That was Baltimore’s third straight single and gave the Orioles runners at first and third with none out and a run already in, but Dempster didn’t allow any more runs in the inning, which proved to be a turning point.
NOTES: The start of the game was delayed 27 minutes thanks to a storm that hit about 45 minutes before the scheduled 7:05 p.m. beginning. … The Baltimore Sun reported Saturday that the Orioles were calling up outfielder L.J. Hoes. He’s had a .304 average with Triple-A Norfolk. … Boston had been in first place for 60 consecutive days before falling to second following Friday’s 6-0 loss to the Orioles. … Coming into Saturday’s game, Mike Napoli led the major leagues with an average of 4.52 pitches per plate appearance. The Red Sox have been great for several years at working the count, and they led the majors (4.03 pitches/plate appearance) entering this game.