BOSTON (AP) — Jim Johnson walked Adrian Beltre with the bases loaded to force in the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning and David Ortiz hit his first homer of the season, leading the Boston Red Sox to their ninth straight win over the Baltimore Orioles, 4-3 on Friday night.
Boston won its third in four games after a five-game losing streak. The Red Sox were 16-2 against the Orioles in 2009, winning the final eight meetings.
Adam Jones had a two-run homer for Baltimore, which overcame a 3-0 deficit but dropped to a major league-worst 2-15 this season.
The Red Sox loaded the bases with a single and two walks against two relievers in the eighth before Beltre took Johnson's 3-1 pitch inside for the go-ahead run. Matt Albers (0-2) gave up J.D. Drew's leadoff single before retiring the next two batters. Will Ohman walked Victor Martinez intentionally before walking Ortiz on four pitches.
Manny Delcarmen (1-1) got the win despite allowing an inherited runner to score in the eighth. Jonathan Papelbon got Julio Lugo to strike out with runners on first and second to end it for his fourth save.
Boston starter Jon Lester got into three jams, but left in the sixth inning with a 3-0 lead. He remained unbeaten in 13 career starts against Baltimore, 10-0 with a 2.22 ERA.
Ortiz, who was replaced in the lineup the past two games, entered hitting .146 with just two RBIs. He homered into the Green Monster seats off Jeremy Guthrie, moving Boston ahead 1-0 in the second.
The Red Sox added runs in the third and fifth to open a 3-0 edge.
Drew's sacrifice fly made it 2-0 in the third.
Beltre singled leading off the fifth, advanced on Jeremy Hermida's infield hit and went to third on the same play when third baseman Miguel Tejada threw the ball into short right. He then scored on Josh Reddick's double-play grounder.
Jones' two-run homer off Bard made it 3-2 in the seventh.
Matt Wieters doubled against Hideki Okajima leading off the eighth and former Red Sox shortstop Lugo pinch ran. Delcarmen entered and walked Nolan Reimold before Garrett Atkins, who ended two innings with the bases loaded, bunted into a fielder's choice — with a close play at second. Pinch hitter Luke Scott's slow roller to second scored Lugo, tying it 3-all.
Atkins took a called third strike against Lester in the fourth and popped to center off reliever Daniel Bard in the sixth.
Guthrie gave up three runs, five hits, walked two without a strikeout in six innings. He's allowed three runs or less in each of his four starts.
NOTES: Red Sox manager Terry Francona said before the game that RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to throw a four-inning simulated game in Toronto on Monday and will start in Baltimore next weekend. ... Francona said that the day off "was good mentally" for Ortiz. ... Tejada made two errors. ... Jones was 0 for 15 before his homer. ... Boston's bullpen had gone 19 2-3 scoreless innings before Jones' homer. ... The Red Sox are 20-2 against Baltimore since Sept. 1, 2008.