BOSTON – Everything is going the Orioles way. For the last four games, their starting pitcher has failed to go five innings, and still won. On Tuesday night, their shortstop hit his first two home runs of the season—the two shortest in the major leagues.
With Mike Wright getting the win, and J.J. Hardy hitting those home runs, the Orioles ran their franchise best start to 7-0 with a 9-5 win over the Boston Red Sox before 31,114 at Fenway Park.
The Orioles have their longest winning streak since Apr. 22-May 1, 2005 when they won eight straight.
Wright allowed four runs on five hits in five innings, the first time he had started since March 28 against the Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla.
According to ESPN, Hardy’s two homers, which both cleared the right field fence by the fabled Pesky Pole, were the shortest hit in the majors so far this season, and not close to the long two run shot by Mark Trumbo.
When Hardy came to the bench, his teammates kidded him.
“Both of your home runs didn’t add up to what Trumbo’s was,” Hardy said.
Manager Buck Showalter, who’s delighting in seeing Hardy, who missed 48 games with injuries last season, happy and healthy, enjoyed watching him drive in five runs.
“He said, ‘It’s not my park, I didn’t build it.’ I said don't feel bad, you are going to hit some home runs to straightaway centerfield that someone’s going to track down. You like to see good things happen to good people. He put good swings on those balls. They would have been extra base hits, regardless of the distance,” Showalter said.
The Orioles (7-0), who trailed 4-2 after five, scored three in the sixth and four in the seventh.
Trumbo is confident his teammates can come back from deficits.
“We’ve shown that we have the ability to. I’m sure it’s not going to happen every night, but if you can kind of keep that mindset, a lot of good things could happen. It’s a really tough team that we’re going up against and we’ve shown the ability to kind of answer, a few times at least,” Trumbo said.
Wright (1-0), threw 97 mph fastballs in the first and allowed David Ortiz’s 48th home run against the Orioles.
The two-run homer gave Boston a 2-0 lead, which held until Hardy hit his first home run of the season. That two-run home run off Clay Buchholz (0-1) tied the game at 2 in the fourth.
In the fifth, the Red Sox (3-4) took a 4-2 lead on an RBI double by Mookie Betts and a wild pitch by Wright that scored him.
The Orioles scored three runs in the sixth. Chris Davis led off with a single off the Green Monster in left. Trumbo hit a long home run to left, his second in as many days.
Matt Wieters walked, and Pedro Alvarez doubled, his first extra-base hit. Wieters came home with the go-ahead run on Hardy’s sinking liner to right.
Hardy and his teammates seem to know that offensively their team can score runs, seemingly by the dozens.
“It’s just every night, you watch the guys just sitting in the dugout watching everybody’s at bats. It’s fun because everybody – one through nine – can do it and it’s fun to watch,” Hardy said.
“We feel confident. It’s a good mindset to feel like we know it’s going to happen, but everybody trusts one another.”
Wieters’ two-run single and Hardy’s home run off Robbie Ross, Jr. in the seventh put the Orioles ahead 9-4.
“I had so much fun after we tied it up and got the lead. That was amazing. This offense is fun to watch. I’m just like every other baseball fan. I like seeing home runs and I like seeing runs scored. It’s good when it’s your team,” Wright said.
Dylan Bundy pitched two scoreless innings before allowing a run on Ortiz’s RBI double in the eighth.
Only Ubaldo Jimenez has been able to pitch into the sixth inning, and he lasted seven in the season’s third ame.
“Most of that has to do with our pitch count, our workload early in the season. It wasn’t always that they weren’t pitching well enough to stay in the game,” Showalter said.
“We’ve got a number of people that started off performing well out of the pen, six or seven guys, you don’t mind passing around the load. Dylan’s outing was probably the key to the game tonight.”
NOTES: Hardy’s five RBI game was one short of his career high. .. Joey Rickard has hit in all seven games this season. … Jimenez (1-0, 1.29) faces Joe Kelly (0-0, 21.00) on Wednesday night in the final game of the series.