BOSTON (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles are missing some power with Adam Jones sidelined. David Lough is providing surprising pop in his place.
Starting in center field for the sixth time in seven games while Jones rests an injured right shoulder, Lough hit a three-run homer in a four-run second inning and the Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox 6-4 on Tuesday night, their 12th win in 15 games.
“I don’t get many of them, not as many as he gets,” Lough said of his third homer in 10 games after getting just one in his first 41, “but it was good to get that up on the board.”
Jones is third on the Orioles with 10 homers, but Lough allows manager Buck Showalter to give Jones more time to heal.
“David’s abilities allow us to be a little cautious with Adam,” Showalter said.
Lough started just three games in center field this season before Jones was hurt.
“I like center field. I’ve played it in college. I played it in the minor leagues,” he said. “I just haven’t played it (much) over here, obviously, with Adam Jones.”
The Red Sox had a chance to tie it the ninth after Dustin Pedroia’s two-out, run-scoring double. But David Ortiz lined out to third as Zach Britton earned his 20th save.
“We were able to scratch out some runs,” right fielder Brock Holt said. “We just weren’t able to finish it off.”
Lough connected off Joe Kelly (2-5) after a sacrifice fly by Ryan Flaherty.
Baltimore made it 5-1 in the fourth on an RBI single by Jimmy Paredes and 6-3 in the sixth on a run-scoring double by Manny Machado.
“He missed off the plate,” Boston manager John Farrell said of Kelly. “Then when he mislocated in the zone, it was a good pitch for them to square up.”
Boston scored single runs in the third, fourth and fifth off Ubaldo Jimenez (6-3)
Farrell was ejected by plate umpire Tim Timmons after arguing a called third strike to Holt that ended the sixth.
“He gets called out on a pitch that’s probably a couple of baseballs off the plate away,” Farrell said. “I said a thing probably one too many times.”
The Red Sox returned from a promising road trip with renewed hope after winning three of their last four games. They remained a distant last in the AL East but showed signs that their weak hitting was improving by scoring 29 runs in those four games.
But Jimenez, who has allowed three earned runs or less in 12 of his 14 starts, and four relievers from one of baseball’s best bullpens held them to eight hits, just two in the last four innings.
The Orioles went ahead in the second when they loaded the bases on singles by the first three batters, Chris Davis, Travis Snyder and J.J. Hardy. After Flaherty’s sacrifice fly, Lough, the usual starting left fielder, hit his fourth homer.
The Red Sox cut the lead to 4-1 in the third on a single by Sandy Leon, a double by Mookie Betts and a run-scoring groundout by Holt. They made it 5-2 in the fourth when Hanley Ramirez singled, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Pablo Sandoval.
They drew within two runs in the fifth when Pedroia and Ortiz walked with two outs and Ramirez singled in Pedroia.
But after Flaherty walked and was sacrificed to second by Lough in the sixth, Machado doubled him home.
FENWAY’S FINALLY FRIENDLY
Jimenez won for the first time in his career in five starts at Fenway Park. “At some point,” Showalter said, “the good ones kind of turn that around.”
Boston catcher Leon had a role in three runners who were thrown out. He caught one stealing, threw out another diving back to first and tagged another out at home on an attempted double steal when Leon threw to shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who threw back home.
Orioles: Jones sat out for the fifth time in the last seven games with an injured right shoulder. He was the designated hitter in the other two. Jones is hitting .298 with 10 homers and 36 RBIs.
Red Sox: C Blake Swihart missed his second straight game with a sprained left foot, but Farrell said he hopes Swihart can play Wednesday night. 3B Sandoval started after missing Boston’s last game with a sprained left ankle and went 3 for 4.
Orioles: Bud Norris (2-5, 7.57 ERA) pitches the second game of the three-game series Wednesday night. After allowing a total of 20 earned runs in his first three starts, his ERA is at its lowest point of the season.
Red Sox: Clay Buchholz (4-6, 3.87) tries to continue a solid stretch in which he’s allowed two runs or less in five of his last seven starts. In his last outing, he allowed two earned runs in seven innings in a 5-2 win at Atlanta.
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