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Baltimore Orioles off to best start since 1944 with 9-5 rout of Red Sox

By Gethin Coolbaugh, The Sports Xchange
Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy. File photo Brian Kersey/UPI
Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy. File photo Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

BOSTON -- J.J. Hardy already knew what the Baltimore Orioles' offense was capable of.

His own bat, however, may have caught a few people off guard.

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Hardy socked a pair of two-run home runs and drove in five runs to give Baltimore its seventh straight win to start the season, a 9-5 rout of the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night at Fenway Park.

"I think the lineup's something we've talked about, and we all feel pretty confident," Hardy said after slicing a pair of homers around Pesky's Pole in right field in the fourth and seventh innings, barely clearing the shallow wall.

"He deserves to have a couple of home runs there," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Like he said, 'It's not my park -- I didn't build it.'"

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Mark Trumbo added to the fireworks with a monster two-run homer in the sixth that cleared the Green Monster in left. Trumbo also hit a three-run bomb Monday in Baltimore's series-opening 9-7 win over Boston.

"He's got more pop than anybody I've ever seen, and he's got a good approach up there," Hardy said about Trumbo, who was 3-for-4 on Tuesday and fell a triple shy of the cycle.

Matt Wieters also drove in two runs for Baltimore, which is enjoying its best start since opening 9-0 as the St. Louis Browns in 1944.

"I didn't realize it had been so long since an Orioles team had done that, but I said it in spring training -- our (12-15 spring) record didn't reflect the type of team we had," Orioles starting pitcher Mike Wright said.

Wright (1-0) earned the win in his season debut, allowing four runs, five hits and a walk while striking out four in five innings.

"I was proud of Mike," Showalter said. "He kept himself under control emotionally, and I'm not going to say he made the pitches when he had to. He just seemed to stay engaged in the moment and didn't let anything snowball, and our guys got us back in the ballgame."

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David Ortiz had a two-run homer and an RBI double, and Mookie Betts added an RBI two-bagger and scored a run for Boston (3-4), which dropped its third straight.

"We need to (pitch) better, and that goes without saying," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "This isn't a matter of stuff."

Clay Buchholz (0-1) was booed off the mound after five-plus innings. He allowed five runs, five hits and three walks and struck out five.

"I felt like I had good stuff," Buchholz said. "I felt like I threw the ball pretty well tonight. Two home runs got me."

Ortiz put the Red Sox ahead 2-0 with his first Fenway homer of the season in the first inning, crushing a 1-2 Wright fastball into the Orioles' bullpen in right after Dustin Pedroia reached on a single.

Hardy, who made a spectacular diving catch on a Blake Swihart liner in the second, tied it at 2 with his first two-run blast.

Betts nearly had a two-run shot in the fifth, but the ball didn't clear the Green Monster in left and resulted in an RBI double as Jackie Bradley Jr. scored from first.

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Betts later scored from third on a wild pitch from Wright, giving the Red Sox a 4-2 lead.

Trumbo's homer tied it at 4, and Hardy's sacrifice fly three at-bats later put Baltimore on top for good.

The Orioles added four runs in the seventh on Wieters' two-run single and Hardy's final homer.

Ortiz's double in the eighth brought the Red Sox within four.

NOTES: Orioles CF Adam Jones (rib injury) was not in the starting lineup for the fifth straight game, though he appeared as a defensive replacement. "It's close every day," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said of the decision to leave Jones on the bench. "Weather, wet, a lot of different factors go into it." ... Baltimore LHP Brian Matusz (left intercostal strain) will make another rehab start Friday for Class A Frederick. ... Boston manager John Farrell said benched 3B Pablo Sandoval, who was booed by hometown fans during introductions on Opening Day, will "play I think a key role and contribute at some point this season." Sandoval is 0-for-6 on the year. ... In honor of David Ortiz's 500th career home run, which he hit Sept. 12 at Tampa Bay, the Red Sox gave fans at Tuesday's game commemorative necklaces. Ortiz has announced his plans to retire after this season.

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