is so accustomed to dominating the
, he couldn't derive much satisfaction out of beating them with a rather ordinary performance.
Lester pitched into the seventh inning to win his sixth straight decision, and the
Boston Red Sox
feasted on the Orioles bullpen in an 11-5 victory Saturday night.
, J.D. Drew and
homered for the
, whose magic number to clinch the AL wild card dipped below double figures. Any number of Boston victories or Texas defeats
totaling nine will put the
in the playoffs.
Lester (14-7) improved to 6-0 in 11 starts since July 19 despite giving up three runs and 10 hits - at least one every inning.
He is 10-0 lifetime against Baltimore, including 4-0 with a 1.65 ERA this season.
''I didn't think he had his best stuff,'' Boston manager
said, ''but on a night when he didn't, he pitched pretty good.''
''Pretty good'' aren't words usually used to describe Lester, especially when he's going up against the Orioles.
''It wasn't necessarily the seven innings or the three runs, it was the 10 hits. And I was behind quite a bit. You can't do
that,'' the left-hander said. ''We won. You got to look at it that way. I wasn't at my best, but I kept my team in the ball
game and they were able to score runs late.''
dueled for six innings before Boston broke it open with a three-run seventh.
(2-6), stole second and scored on a single by
for a 4-3 lead.
with a double, and Drew and
followed with RBI singles.
added five unearned runs in the eighth against
. After first baseman
let a grounder zip through his legs, Ortiz hit a sacrifice fly, Drew homered with two on and Anderson followed with a solo
Hernandez gave up seven hits, three walks and a homer in six innings.
''We were encouraged by how Hernandez threw tonight. That was his best outing in a while,'' Orioles manager Dave Trembley
said. ''The game got out of hand after he left.''
Boston has won seven straight over the Orioles and is 15-2 against Baltimore this season. The
also clinched their 11th straight series win over the AL East-cellar dwellers.
Wigginton hit two solo homers, and
also connected for Baltimore. Wigginton and Pie hit successive drives in the ninth off
After watching the Orioles score only one run in their previous two games, Trembley shuffled the lineup, moving rookie
to the No. 3 spot for the first time and shifting
back to the top of the order. The move worked: Roberts hit his league-leading 53rd double and scored a run, and Wieters had
three hits and an RBI.
The first three batters to face Lester all got hits - a double by Roberts, a single by
and an RBI single by Wieters. The uprising ended when Mora bounced into a double play.
''It's a possible big inning when you let that happen,'' Lester said, ''so you try to minimize the damage and not let the
game get out of reach.''
Reddick, starting in place of an ailing
, homered in the second after a double by Drew. Bay was scratched from the lineup after experiencing flulike symptoms.
Wigginton led off the bottom half with his first homer since Aug. 2, and Mora gave the Orioles a 3-2 lead in the fourth with
his eighth home run.
Boston pulled even in the sixth when Ortiz doubled and scored on a single by Lowell.
extended his hitting streak to a career-high 18 games. Pedroia has hit in 11 straight. ... Hernandez has given up 20 homers
in his last 10 starts. ...
starters have allowed three runs or fewer in 12 straight games. ... Lester surrendered two homers after yielding only four
in his previous 15 starts.