Dustin Pedroia had three hits and five RBIs, and David Ortiz went 3-for-3 while driving in four runs for Boston to help the Red Sox beat the slumping Baltimore Orioles 14-2 on Tuesday night.
Boston won for the 10th time in 14 games and took a four-game lead in the AL wild-card race. The Red Sox also moved within four games of Tampa Bay in the AL East. The Rays lost 7-2 to the Yankees.
Jon Lester (13-5) allowed one run and six hits, striking out five and walking four in five innings. Coco Crisp also had three hits, and he and Jed Lowrie scored three runs apiece.
Pedroia, the 5-foot-9 Red Sox second baseman, hit .374 in August, scoring 33 runs in the month and convincing Red Sox fans that he should be the AL MVP. He has hit in seven straight games, and is batting .600 (18-for-30) during that stretch.
Batting cleanup for three of the last four games, he is 7-for-12. He leads the American League in hitting at .330.
Radhames Liz, who was called up from Triple-A Norfolk before the game, gave up nine runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings and dropped to 5-4. The Orioles lost for the 10th time in 11 games. Baltimore pitchers have allowed 55 runs and 42 walks in their last five games, all losses.
Ortiz hit a two-run double in the third, and Pedroia followed with a sacrifice fly that made it 4-0. With the bases loaded in the fifth, Ortiz bounced one over the right-field wall for another two runs, chasing Liz, and Pedroia followed with a three-run homer off Fernando Cabrera.
Pedroia popped up with the bases loaded in the fifth, but he drove in another run in the seventh with a double to match his career high for RBIs.
Notes:@ The Orioles scratched Wednesday's starter Jeremy Guthrie due to arm fatigue. No replacement was named. ... Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis was scratched before the game with lower back spasms and replaced by Jeff Bailey. ... RHP RHP Bartolo Colon will pitch a rehab assignment in the minors on Saturday and be penciled in for one of Boston's game in a doubleheader on Sept. 13. ... The game was the 454th consecutive sellout at Fenway Park, one short of the major league record set by Cleveland from 1995-2001. ... The Orioles also called up RHPs Bob McCrory and Kam Mickolio from Norfolk before the game. ... 3B Melvin Mora missed his fourth consecutive game with a strained left hamstring. ... The Red Sox moved to a season-high 24 games over .500.
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