BOSTON – David Lough doesn’t get many opportunities to play center field. He is making the most of the few he gets. In two seasons with the Orioles, he’s started there 18 times.
That’s because Adam Jones usually plays there, but for the past seven games, the four-time All-Star has been ailing with a sore right shoulder.
On Tuesday night, Lough had the key hit for the Orioles, a three-run home run in the second inning that led the way in a 6-4 win over the Boston Red Sox before 36,508 mostly displeased fans at Fenway Park.
In between chanting “Free Tom Brady” and booing first baseman Mike Napoli, who struck out all four times he batted, the fans watched Lough hit his fourth home run of the season.
He’s no Adam Jones, Lough freely admits.
“I don’t get many of them, not as many as he gets, but it was good to get that on the board tonight and put up those three runs for us,” Lough said. “We’re just trying to get him healthy and back on the field.”
Jones, who is unlikely to play before Friday, led the cheers for Lough.
“I see @DLOrioles trying to Wally Pipp me. Keep swinging it,” Jones tweeted after the game.
There’s no chance that Lough will displace the four-time All-Star, but his hit followed Ryan Flaherty’s sacrifice fly off Joe Kelly (2-5), and gave the Orioles (37-33) an early 4-0 lead.
The Orioles are four games over 500 for the first time this season, and have won 14 of 18. They’re currently in third place in the AL East, 2 ½ games in back of Tampa Bay.
Besides Lough, the Orioles were happy for Ubaldo Jimenez, who won his third straight start for the first time with Baltimore, and recorded his first win at Fenway.
“I’ve been looking for that win since 2007, the World Series. I pitched the second game over here. It’s been difficult, but finally I got it. It’s one of those things, you go, ‘Wow, I don’t know why, but it doesn’t seem like I’m going to win.’ We were able to do it. It was a good team win, the guys really helped me out and I’m happy that I got that W,” Jimenez said.
In his previous four starts here, Jimenez hadn’t won, and had a 7.41 ERA. The last time Jimenez pitched here, on Apr. 17, he was ejected for throwing at Pablo Sandoval.
“At some point, the good ones kind of turn that around,” manager Buck Showalter said. “At one time, this guy was as good a pitcher as there was in the game, so his pedigree is pretty deep.”
After the Orioles took a 4-0 lead, they had a chance to add on in the third, but didn’t. Chris Parmelee, who tripled in the first inning, doubled to lead off. He moved to third on Matt Wieters’ infield out. Chris Davis walked, and with Travis Snider batting, the Orioles tried a double steal.
Sandy Leon threw to short when Davis took off, and Xander Bogaerts’ throw home was in time to get Parmelee. Snider walked, but was quickly picked off by Kelly.
“We made two or three baserunning mistakes we don’t normally make. We’ve got to get that corrected. It kind of took some air out of our sails,” Showalter said.
Leon led off the bottom of the third with a single. Mookie Betts doubled Leon to third, and he scored on Brock Holt’s infield out.
J.J. Hardy singled to lead off the fourth. After Flaherty struck out, Lough hit into a fielder’s choice. Manny Machado singled, and Robbie Ross relieved Kelly. Jimmy Paredes’ single scored Lough.
Kelly (2-5) allowed five runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Hanley Ramirez singled to start the fourth and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With one out, Sandoval scored him on a single, and the Orioles lead was 5-2.
Jimenez (6-3) got the first two outs of the fifth against Boston (31-41). Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz walked, and Pedroia scored on Ramirez’s single.
Machado’s sixth inning double scored Flaherty for a 6-3 lead.
In five innings, Jimenez allowed three runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out eight.
Brad Brach, Chaz Roe, Darren O’Day each pitched a shutout inning. Zach Britton picked up his 20th save, but allowed an RBI double by Pedroia with two outs in the ninth.
NOTES: Showalter’s win was the 1,296th of his managerial career, passing Cap Anson for 32nd place on the manager’s win list. Boston manager John Farrell was ejected in the sixth inning by home plate umpire Tim Timmons. … Machado has five consecutive multi-hit games. … Bud Norris (2-5, 7.57) faces Clay Buchholz (4-6, 3.87) on Wednesday night.
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