BALTIMORE — A sellout Camden Yards crowd of 44,765 had to wait through a brief rain delay before Saturday night’s game, and while the bad weather held off for the rest of the evening, Boston’s Stephen Drew provided some unexpected thunder. The light-hitting shortstop went 3 for 4 with two home runs and five RBI in a 7-3 Red Sox win.
Drew entered the game hitting .223 with five home runs and with one hit in his previous 15 at-bats. But he went deep twice on Saturday, once in the fourth and again in the sixth. Both balls were hit to right field, the latter barely clearing the fence and needing a confirmation by video review.
The Orioles (58-47) scored single runs in the fifth, sixth, and eighth innings, but left nine men on base and, thanks to Drew and a seventh-inning shot from Shane Victorino, could never close the gap.
“You’ve got to give [Red Sox starter Ryan] Dempster some credit too,” Orioles Manager Buck Showalter said. “Veteran pitchers especially use your aggressiveness against you, especially when you’re down.”
Dempster (6-8) went 51 / 3 innings, holding the Orioles to two runs on six hits. He outlasted Baltimore starter Scott Feldman (2-2), who departed after yielding four runs on six hits in five innings, raising his ERA to 5.12 in five starts since he was acquired from the Chicago Cubs on July 2.
“I thought [Feldman] was okay, we just didn’t score many runs,” Showalter said. “The three-run homer [Drew’s first] was a big blow, but it was a competitive outing.”
One bright spot for Baltimore was the performance of newly acquired Francisco Rodriguez, who tossed a scoreless ninth in his second outing as an Oriole.
Manny Machado provided the play of the game with a spectacular step-and-dive snag on a Dustin Pedroia rocket down the third base line in the seventh. Machado sprang up and gunned out Pedroia.
Another memorable moment came later that inning when David Ortiz was at bat and called a timeout. Home plate umpire Tim Timmons did not grant it, and Orioles reliever Jairo Asencio threw a pitch as Ortiz stepped out. Timmons called the pitch a strike.
After he struck out swinging a few pitches later, Ortiz chirped at Timmons on his way back to the dugout. Timmons ejected him, leading Ortiz to walk pointedly back in his direction, even shoving Boston Manager John Farrell, who was trying to intervene.
Ortiz then completely lost it in the dugout, smashing two dugout phones with a bat. The debris nearly made an accidental casualty of Pedroia, who got in Ortiz’s face in an attempt to calm him down.
Despite the meltdown, the Red Sox (62-43) cruised to the win and kept themselves a half-game back of the AL East-leading Rays. The Orioles are 41 / 2 games back.