Red Sox hammer Matusz, O’s pitching in 18-9 romp

Two weeks later, it didn’t get any better for Brian Matusz.

Making his first start since he gave up five runs in 1 1/3 innings on September 5 against the Yankees, tonight Matusz gave up six runs in 1 2/3 as Boston beat the Orioles 18-9 to gain a split of the day-night doubleheader.

That was a season-high in runs allowed by Orioles’ pitchers, who twice this year had given up 17 in a game.

Buck Showalter talks with Jim Hunter about the O’s 18-9 loss to the Red Sox

The win, just the fourth in the last 16 games for Boston, moved the Red Sox back to two games ahead of Tampa for the wild-card berth in the AL.

Matusz falls to 1-8 with an ERA of 10.68 in 11 major league starts this year and this was the third time he failed to survive the second inning. His ERA in five starts since coming up from Triple-A in mid August is 13.26.

The Orioles provided him a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, but Boston scored four off Matusz in the home half of the inning and the Red Sox led 11-5 after three innings.

Leading 11-9 later, Boston scored seven runs in the seventh. In that inning, Jacoby Ellsbury hit an inside-the-park homer and Conor Jackson hit a grand slam.

Chris Davis went 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Orioles who got three RBIs from Nolan Reimold and two hits, including a triple and two RBIs from Nick Markakis. Vladimir Guerrero drove in two runs.

Red Sox starter John Lackey had a career record of 11-4 and ERA of 2.89 against the Orioles. He also had recorded 15 straight quality starts against Baltimore dating back to August 3, 2005. That is the longest run ever versus the Orioles.

But Lackey could not even stick around long enough to get a win in this game, giving up eight runs on 11 hits over 4 1/3 innings as his ERA increased to 6.49.

This was the fourth time this season Boston has scored 10 or more runs against the Orioles and the 15th time the Orioles have allowed 10 or more runs in a game.

The Sox are 9-4 against the O’s, including a 6-1 mark at home. The Orioles are 6-24 in their last 30 games at Fenway Park.

The Orioles lost for the second time in seven games and fifth time in the last 13 to fall to 63-90.

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