The Boston Red Sox broke a 106-year-old franchise record with their 106th victory on Monday night, clinching home-field advantage through the postseason by beating the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 thanks to a pair of hits from major league batting leader Mookie Betts.
Nathan Eovaldi struck out 10 hapless Orioles batters to assure the Red Sox of the best record in baseball this season and home-field advantage through the World Series, if they make it that far. For now, they know they will open the Division Series at Fenway Park on Oct. 5 against the winner of the AL wild-card game between the New York Yankees and mostly likely Oakland.
The 1912 Red Sox won 105 games in their first season at Fenway Park.
The Orioles (45-111) became the sixth AL team and the first since the 2003 Tigers to lose 111 games, falling 60 games behind Boston (106-51) in the division. It's the first time since 1939 that teams separated by 60 wins in the standings have played each other.
Boston scored four in the second inning, getting back-to-back doubles from Steve Pearce and Brock Holt, an RBI single from Christian Vazquez and Betts' two-run homer over the Green Monster. It was the 32nd homer of the season for Betts, a new career high.
Betts also singled and scored in Boston's two-run fourth, moving him into the major-league lead with 125 runs scored. In his last three games, he is 10 for 16 with three homers and four doubles, and he leads teammate J.D. Martinez (.328) in the AL batting race.
Renato Nunez had three hits for the Orioles, who fell to 2-15 against Boston and 18-61 on the road this season.
Six days after throwing six scoreless innings against the Yankees, Eovaldi (6-7) allowed one run on four hits in five innings, walking none but uncorking a pair of wild pitches.
Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy (8-16) gave up four runs on five hits and three walks in three innings, striking out five.
Orioles: RHP Yefrey Ramirez is scheduled to start on Wednesday, but manager Buck Showalter said he wanted to give him an extra day or two. "I think Yefrey will pitch again, I just don't know when," Showalter said.
Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts was back in the lineup after feeling soreness in his left shoulder during a swing and leaving Sunday night's game. ... INF Eduardo Nunez ran on Sunday to test his hamstring and was scheduled to run again on Monday with the goal of having him back in the lineup by Wednesday or Friday.
LHP David Price (15-7) tries to bounce back from a rough start in Yankee Stadium in the second game of the series in what could be his last start of the regular season.
Anthony Rendon homered and drove four runs, Bryce Harper reached 100 RBIs in a season for the first time and the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 7-3 on Monday night.
Juan Soto and Matt Wieters also homered for Washington, which broke it open with four runs on three pitches in the fourth inning.
Harper started the big inning, driving in his 100th run with a sacrifice fly that scored Adam Eaton and put Washington ahead 3-1. Harper, a pending free agent who may be playing his final home series at Nationals Park, got a standing ovation from the sparse, rain-soaked crowd. His previous high was 99 RBIs in 2015, when he won the NL MVP Award.
Rendon and Soto then homered back-to-back on the next two pitches from Sandy Alcantara (2-2). Rendon lofted a two-run shot, his 23rd, down the left-field line, and then Soto lined one into the visitors' bullpen in left-center to make it 6-1.
Rendon extended his on-base streak to 32 games, the longest active streak in the majors.
Peter O'Brien had two hits for Miami, which had won three straight. The Marlins left 10 men on base.
Justin Miller (7-1) allowed one unearned run in the fifth in relief of Stephen Strasburg, who was pulled after throwing 100 pitches over four innings. Strasburg gave up a run on three hits and four walks while striking out five and hitting a batter.
Strasburg hasn't lost since returning from the disabled list on Aug. 22.
Alcantara allowed six runs on seven hits and five walks in four innings.
The Nationals trailed 1-0 in the first when Rendon's double scored Eaton and Harper.
Marlins: Manager Don Mattingly expects RHP Jose Urena, who experienced leg cramps last time out, to make his next scheduled start Friday in New York. "He ran yesterday," Mattingly said. "It looks like he's going to be fine. He's getting an extra day (Thursday) anyway. I think he'll start."
Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark went home Sunday to be with his wife after the recent birth of their third child. He is still slated to start Wednesday.
Marlins: RHP Jeff Brigham (0-3, 5.84) makes his fourth major league start and first against Washington.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (17-7, 2.57) needs 10 strikeouts to reach 300 for the season. He's 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA against the Marlins in 2018.
MORE NATIONALS NEWS
- 100 RBIs: Bryce Harper drives in career-high 100 RBIs in a single season
- Officially done: Nats miss postseason for the first time since 2015
- 100 dingers: Anthony Rendon hits a career milestone