BALTIMORE—Fifteen runs were scored in the first three innings. The game dragged on.
Fortunately, for the Orioles, order was eventually restored, and they won despite being outhomered 5-0.
In the end, the Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox 13-9 before 20,750 on Wednesday night.
The Orioles (29-22) had lost the first two games of the series to Boston (32-21) and have cut the Red Sox’s lead to two in the AL East.
The first three innings took an hour, 41 minutes to play, putting it on a pace to last more than five hours.
“Our guys just refused to be outscored tonight,” manager Buck Showalter said. “It was like playing a full game in the first three innings.”
Play picked up a bit, and the game ended in just under four hours.
Brad Brach (5-0), who always seems to be in the right place when the Orioles win in an unusual fashion, recorded five outs for the win.
Clay Buchholz, who was sent to the bullpen last weekend, came in to start the fourth, and pitched two scoreless innings, but two runs scored in the sixth.
Buchholz (3-6) walked Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo to start the seventh. Matt Wieters’ ground ball went through Dustin Pedroia to score Davis, and Trumbo scored on Ryan Flaherty’s infield out to give the Orioles a 10-8 lead.
A single by Wieters that scored two, and an RBI base hit by Jonathan Schoop in the seventh extended the lead to 13-8.
Chris Young hit his second home run of the game against Darren O’Day in the eighth, but Zach Britton relieved him with two outs, and after walking David Ortiz, retired Hanley Ramirez on a force play and picked up his 15th save.
For the second time in as many days, Mookie Betts hit home runs in the first two innings. He became the first major leaguer to do so.
Mike Wright allowed six runs in 2 2/3 innings and given a 4-1 lead after an inning, left on the short end.
During Betts’ second at-bat, Wright threw a pitch high over his head, drawing a warning to both benches from home plate umpire Doug Eddings.
Betts said he didn’t think it was intentional, and an upset Wright swore it wasn’t.
“I just threw it too high. Was I trying to go in? Absolutely. 0-2, a guy that’s comfortable in the box, I’m trying to go in there, but I’d never throw at a guy’s face. That was way too high. I didn’t think a warning was necessary, but when a guy’s that hot, hit four, five home runs in two days, it has to come,” Wright said.
Betts was so nonplussed he homered, anyway.
“I know what it looks like, and I know it's with a guy who's swinging real well against us,” Showalter said.
“I understand what it looks like. That's why I didn't argue a lot. If you look at things realistically there are two pitches there basically the same. But one guy hadn't hit 150 home runs against us in two days.”
Trumbo’s two-run single, Wieters’ sacrifice fly and Pedro Alvarez’s double gave the Orioles the temporary lead.
Young’s two-run homer and Betts’ second homer in the second inning, tied it at 4.
Manny Machado’s scoring fly ball in the second off Joe Kelly gave the Orioles a 5-4 lead.
Ortiz tied it at five with a home run, and after Vance Worley replaced Wright, Ryan Hanigan’s two-run single put Boston ahead 7-5.
Schoop’s RBI double and singles by Flaherty and Machado gave the Orioles an 8-7 lead after three.
Joe Kelly allowed seven runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings and was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after the game so the Red Sox could add a reliever. Their bullpen was so taxed that reserve infielder Josh Rutledge warmed up in the eighth inning with his team trailing by five runs.
Worley made it into the sixth when the Red Sox tied it at 8 on an RBI single by Pedroia.
“There was a lot of everything in that game, so it’s a nice win and to be able to swing and have everybody contribute to the offense tonight was big,” Wieters said.
“I think once you get into the grind, it doesn’t matter whether it takes an hour or whether it takes six hours. If you can come out on top, it always feels good at the end of the day.”
NOTES: The 13 runs was an Orioles season high. Davis drew four walks for the second time this season, matching a career high. … Boston’s Xander Bogaerts has a 25-game hitting streak. … Rick Porcello (7-2, 3.68) faces Ubaldo Jimenez (2-6, 6.36) on Thursday night.