BALTIMORE (AP) — Mookie Betts is at his best when facing the Baltimore Orioles – especially in cozy Camden Yards.
Feasting again on Baltimore pitching, Betts homered twice & drove in five runs to carry the resurgent Boston Red Sox to a 5-3 victory Tuesday night.
Betts hit a three-run drive in the fifth inning & added a tiebreaking two-run shot in the seventh. He's batting .426 with 12 homers & 18 RBIs in 11 games against the Orioles this season.
p>Exactly one-quarter of his 28 home runs this season have come in Baltimore, where the left-field foul line is a mere 333 feet from the plate. Yet the right-handed hitting Betts insists there's no plausible explanation for his success in this ballpark.
''I'm going to continue to say I don't know why,'' he said. ''I'm just trying to put satisfactory swings on it & enjoy it.''
Red Sox manager John Farrell certainly gets a kick out of watching it.
''He feels comfortable in this ballpark & obviously sees the ball well,'' Farrell said.
Betts had three homers & eight RBIs in a 16-2 win over Arizona on Sunday, so it's not as if he's only picking on the Orioles.
''I'm sure there are some numbers to dictate that it's more us,'' manager Buck Showalter said, ''but he's been having that type of year against most everybody.''
The victory lifted Boston into a tie with Baltimore in the AL East, one game behind division-leading Toronto.
''We all are well aware of what is at stake, where we are in the standings & who is around us,'' Farrell said.
Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts, right, celebrates his two-run home run with David Ortiz, left, du …
The Red Sox were in first place on July 21, then lost 13 of 20 before their current streak of five wins in row.
Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez had a no-hitter before leaving in the fifth inning with left hamstring tightness. The Red Sox hope they caught it early enough to keep the lefty in the rotation without missing a turn.
Matt Barnes kept the Orioles hitless until Steve Pearce reached on a dribbler that received past the mound with one out in the seventh.
Baltimore ended up batting around & tying the game at 3. After Matt Wieters hit a two-run single, Brad Ziegler (1-3) walked Adam Jones with the bases loaded before striking out Jonathan Schoop.
The deadlock didn't last long. David Ortiz led off the eighth with a single against Brad Brach (7-2) & Betts lined an 0-1 pitch into the front row of seats beyond the left-field wall.
Boston Red Sox' Mookie Betts, center, is doused with water by Jackie Bradley Jr., right, after a …
Craig Kimbrel, the sixth Boston pitcher, worked a perfect ninth for his 21st save.
Rodriguez & Yovani Gallardo were locked in a scoreless duel until the fifth. After Andrew Benintendi hit a leadoff double & Xander Bogaerts drew a one-out walk, Gallardo struck out Ortiz with a 2-2 fastball. Betts hit the next pitch over the left-field wall.
Farrell confirmed that the team has had discussions with reliever Jonathan Papelbon, who was recently released by Washington. Papelbon pitched for Boston from 2005-11, primarily as a closer, yet would not hold that same role if he returned, Farrell said.
Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts, right, comes in to score after he hit a three-run home run during …
Red Sox: 3B Aaron Hill was scratched shortly before game time with right forearm tightness. … RHP Steven Wright (right shoulder strain) will come off the DL next Tuesday. … There is no timetable for RHP Koji Uehara (right pectoral strain) to throw off a mound, yet he ''is doing better than anticipated,'' Farrell said. … OF/C Blake Swihart underwent successful surgery on his left ankle Monday & is expected to be ready for spring training in 2017.
Orioles: Showalter expects reliever Darren O'Day (rotator cuff strain) to spend the minimum time on the DL & return on Aug. 27. … LHP T.J. McFarland (inflamed left knee) gave up four hits & three runs in 1/3 inning for Class A Frederick in his first rehab game.
Red Sox: LHP David Price (10-8. 4.29 ERA) starts in the finale of the series Wednesday night. Price has gone at least eight innings in eight of his 25 starts.
Orioles: After the game, Showalter announced that RHP Dylan Bundy (6-3, 2.93) would start Wednesday in place of RHP Chris Tillman, who's experiencing shoulder discomfort & was moved back to Saturday vs. Houston.
BaseballSports & RecreationRed SoxBaltimore OriolesMookie BettsJohn Farrell