By Ken Powtak, AP Sports
BOSTON (AP) — Dwight Smith Jr. hooked a two-run homer into the first row of seats down the right-field line and drove in four runs, leading the Baltimore Orioles past the Red Sox 8-1 Monday in Boston’s annual Patriots’ Day game.
Baltimore salvaged a split of the four-game series. It had lost nine of its previous 11 games and was 4-21 in its last 25 against Boston.
Chris Davis also hit a two-run homer — much further into the right-field bleachers — and Renato Núñez had three hits with an RBI single.
Davis halted a record 0-for-54 stretch Saturday, the longest for a position player. He started the season 0 for 33.
It was the 60th straight year the Red Sox were scheduled to play on the holiday. The defending World Series champs completed a 3-3 homestand.
Dan Straily (1-1) rebounded from a rough debut start with Baltimore, giving up a run on two hits in five innings. He was tagged for five runs and eight hits over 3 1/3 innings by Oakland last week.
The Red Sox open a two-game series against the Yankees on Tuesday night in New York, the first meeting between the rivals since they ousted the Yanks in the divisional round of the playoffs last October.
Leading 1-0, Baltimore scored three times in the fifth off reliever Marcus Walden. Smith’s homer sliced into the seats about 20 feet down from the Pesky Pole, which is 302 feet away, and came after Jonathan Villar’s RBI single.
Smith added a two-run double.
Boston catcher Christian Vázquez started at second base for the first time in his career, handling two grounders and a tag play cleanly.
Orioles rookie manager Brandon Hyde got his first ejection, tossed by crew chief Mark Wegner after his challenge on the “slide rule” at second base was upheld.
Spot starter Hector Velázquez (0-1) gave up a run in three innings.
Orioles: Smith was back in the lineup after not starting Sunday with a sore right leg.
Red Sox: LF Andrew Benintendi was out with a bruised right foot after fouling a ball off it Sunday. . CF Jackie Bradley Jr. was still sidelined with the flu.
MARATHON BOMBINGS MEMORY
There was a moment of silence before the game.
Six years ago, two bombs exploded near the Boston Marathon finish line less than an hour after the Red Sox beat Tampa Bay, killing three people and injuring more than 260.
The Red Sox wore jerseys with “BOSTON” in red letters on the front — something they started during a Marathon tribute when they returned to the field at Fenway Park for the first time after the bombings.
Boston manager Alex Cora shifted his lineup all around.
Besides Vázquez at second, Steve Pearce started in left field with Benintendi and Bradley out.
“Plenty of fun,” Cora said about making the lineup. “These are the days that you really enjoy being a manager. It’s a challenge and we’re ready to play.”
An original lineup had Dustin Pedroia at second, Vázquez catching and Pearce as the DH.
LHP Chris Sale (0-3, 9.00 ERA) looks to turn around his rough start against Yankees LHP James Paxton (1-2, 6.00) on Tuesday.
(© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)