By The Sports Xchange | Box Score
BALTIMORE — Andrew Benintendi lined a tiebreaking single in the fifth, Hanley Ramirez added a solo homer, and David Price threw seven solid innings as the Boston Red Sox completed a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles with a 5-3 victory Thursday night.
The Red Sox (89-64) and Price (17-8) both have eight-game winning streaks. Boston improved its American League East lead over the idle Toronto Blue Jays to 5 1/2 games while slumping Baltimore (82-71) fell seven games back.
Boston’s magic number is five to clinch the division championship.
The Orioles lost their fourth straight and fell for the sixth time in eight games on an 11-game homestand. Baltimore is in a tight battle with the Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros for the second AL wild card.
Benintendi’s single in the fifth — one day after his three-run homer broke open a 5-1 victory — gave Boston the lead for good at 4-3. It came off Vance Worley (2-2), who was on in long relief because starter Chris Tillman gave up three runs and lasted only 1 2/3 innings.
The Orioles had just tied the game in the third on Trey Mancini’s three-run homer. Mancini has homered twice in just seven major league at-bats since being called up earlier this week.
Ramirez homered off Donnie Hart to make it 5-3 in the top of the seventh. The Boston first baseman also had an RBI single in the first.
Price allowed three runs — all on the Mancini homer — and scattered six hits. He struck out five and walked just two. His last loss came on Aug. 7.
Koji Uehara then took care of the eighth inning, and Craig Kimbrel earned his 29th save with a perfect ninth.
Boston took a 1-0 lead with a two-out rally in the first. Mookie Betts singled and moved to second when David Ortiz walked. Ramirez then drove in Betts with a single to center as the Red Sox forced Tillman to throw 35 pitches in the inning.
The Red Sox added two more runs and chased Tillman in the second. Jackie Bradley Jr. led off with a triple and scored when Sandy Leon followed with a single.
Tillman later allowed a single and walk to load the bases before Ortiz walked for a 3-0 lead. That ended Tillman’s night.
NOTES: RHP Dylan Bundy will start the series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said before Thursday’s game. Showalter said that RHP Yovani Gallardo and LHP Wade Miley would start the first two games of the series. Miley will leave the team after Sunday to go on paternity leave and should rejoin during the subsequent road trip. … The Orioles pushed back the start of RHP Kevin Gausman (intercostal issues) and hope he will be ready to go on Tuesday or Wednesday. … Rookie LHP Jayson Aquino (viral infection) was not available for the Orioles for a second straight game. … Boston manager John Farrell sat SS Xander Bogaerts to give him a break. … Red Sox RHP Steven Wright (right shoulder strain) threw from 60 feet Thursday, and if all goes well, he will throw from 120 feet Friday and Saturday. If that goes well, a bullpen session Sunday morning comes next, moving him closer to returning.