BALTIMORE – Rookie Brian Matusz won his third consecutive start, and the Baltimore Orioles beat Josh Beckett and the fading Boston Red Sox 5-2 on Tuesday night to cap a memorable first month under manager Buck Showalter.
Luke Scott hit his career-high 26th homer, had two RBIs and scored twice to help the Orioles extend their winning streak to four. Baltimore went 17-11 in August, 17-10 with Showalter in the dugout.
The Orioles last had a winning August in 1997 — the most recent season in which they finished above .500.
Matusz (7-12) allowed two runs, six hits and a walk in six-plus innings. The left-hander struck out six, including David Ortiz three times.
Koji Uehara, the third Baltimore reliever, retired all five batters he faced to earn his fifth save.
Jed Lowrie homered for the Red Sox, who have dropped three straight. Boston started the day trailing AL East co-leaders New York and Tampa Bay by seven games.
Beckett (4-4) gave up three runs, two earned, and seven hits in seven innings.
Baltimore got a first-inning run when Nick Markakis doubled and scored on a single by Scott, who ended a 2-for-21 slump. Markakis became the first player in Orioles history to hit 40 doubles in four successive seasons.
It became 3-0 in the third. With runners on the corners and two outs, Adam Jones hit a grounder in the hole to shortstop Marco Scutaro, who threw wildly to second. Jones was credited with an RBI single, and another run scored while right fielder J.D. Drew retrieved the ball.
Lowrie ended Baltimore's run of 30 straight scoreless innings in the fifth, hitting his fourth homer following a leadoff single by Mike Lowell. It was only the third home run allowed by Matusz in his last seven starts.
The Red Sox got runners at first and third with two outs in the sixth before Lowell looked at a third strike.
Scott and Felix Pie both hit solo shots off Felix Doubront in the eighth.
Notes: Ortiz is 0 for 9 with eight strikeouts lifetime against Matusz. ... Boston traded LHP Manny Delcarmen to Colorado for RHP Chris Balcolm-Miller, who was assigned to Single-A Greenville. To replace Delcarmen, the Red Sox recalled RHP Robert Manuel from Triple-A Pawtucket. ... Manager Terry Francona said Boston will reactivate C Jarrod Saltalamacchia and INF/OF Eric Patterson from the 15-day DL when rosters expand on Wednesday. ... Jones (bruised shoulder) returned after missing five games and 2B Brian Roberts (hip strain) returned after missing two games. ... 2B Dustin Pedroia (sore left foot) and C Jason Varitek (fractured right foot), who are both on the 15-day DL, will be examined on Wednesday by Dr. George Theodore in Baltimore, Francona said. ... The Orioles are 8-1 in series-opening games under Showalter. Before his arrival, they were 9-25.