BOSTON - Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen had allowed only four runs in the first inning before tonight. David Ortiz tacked on two more with one huge swing.
Ortiz’s two-run shot into right field gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead over the Orioles.
Ortiz struck a pose at home plate, as if posing for a statue. As if he actually were the statue.
Chen posted a 1.80 ERA in the first inning in his 20 starts before tonight, compared to 5.91 in his 32 starts last season. He allowed only one home run in the first before Ortiz took him deep.
Red Sox starter Jake Peavy has retired the first six Orioles tonight, striking out four.
With his next extra-base hit, Chris Davis will break Brady Anderson’s franchise single-season record of 92 set in 1996.
Davis currently leads the majors with 92, putting him 19 ahead of runner-up Mike Trout. Since 1871, only four players have led the majors in extra-base hits by a margin of 19 or more: Babe Ruth (+36 in 1921), Stan Musial (+22 in 1948), Albert Belle (+22 in 1995) and Lou Gehrig (+20 in 1927).
Davis is the fifth left-handed hitter in American League history to hit 51 or more homers and drive in 132 or more runs in the same season, joining Ruth (1920, 1921, 1927, 1928), Ken Griffey Jr. (1997 and 1998), Roger Maris (1961) and David Ortiz (2006).
Seventeen of the Orioles’ last 23 games have been decided by two runs or fewer, and they’ve gone 7-10 in that span. They’re 3-6 in the one-run games.
On the year, 84 percent (126 of 150) of the Orioles’ games have been decided by four runs or fewer.
In the first four games on the road trip, Orioles pitchers have held opponents to an .050 (1-for-20) average with runners in scoring position and have stranded 23 men on base. Meanwhile, the Orioles are batting .194 (7-for-36) with RISP and have stranded 31 in those four games.
Update: Chen escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the bottom of the third when J.J. Hardy made a leaping catch to rob Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes bounced into a 1-2-3 double play.
Chen’s defensive lapses stoked the rally. He was tentative while fielding Shane Victorino’s bunt following a Dustin Pedroia single, and he was slow to cover first base on Ortiz’s liner off Chris Davis’ glove. Davis ran down the ball along the line, but Ortiz beat Chen to the bag.
The Orioles don’t have a hit through four innings. Brian Roberts walked in the third inning and Jones was hit by a pitch in the fourth. That’s it.