Ken Dixon pitched a six-hitter over 7 2/3 innings last night and Floyd Rayford hit a two-run homer in the third as the Baltimore Orioles beat the Red Sox, 3-1, in Boston.

The homer, Rayford's 12th of the year, followed John Shelby's infield single off Al Nipper (8-11) and gave the Orioles a split of their four-game series in Boston.

Rich Gedman homered into the right-field stands in the second inning off Dixon (7-3).

Dixon, making his first start since Aug. 19, gave up six hits, four walks and five strikeouts before being relieved by Don Aase with one out left in the eighth. Aase struck out two in 1 1/3 innings for his 10th save of the year.

Dixon said he was hoping for at least one more start this season.

"I can be ready in a couple of days," he said eagerly.

But Manager Earl Weaver ducked questions about future duties for Dixon, who has relieved 15 times and started 15 games.

"He's one of the guys that I at least have to look at," Weaver said. "He has a very good chance to be in the starting rotation. He's an asset, he's trying to learn something in each and every game, to get better knowledge of the hitters.

"A lot of other guys have had to work out of the bullpen, a lot of them stayed there for a year or two."

Shelby just beat out a slow roller to third to start the Orioles' winning rally. Rayford then put a 1-0 pitch into the center-field screen.

Rick Dempsey singled in a third run for the Orioles in the ninth.

The Red Sox tried to rally in the third and sixth innings. Dwight Evans was out in the third on a throw from left. In the sixth Boston loaded the bases on a Steve Lyons one-out bunt single and two-out walks to Evans and Wade Boggs. But Dixon forced Bill Buckner to pop out to end the threat.

Boggs went zero for three to drop his American League-leading batting average to .365.