– TODAY’S GAME

WHO: Red Sox (Doubront 4-1) at Baltimore Orioles (Matusz 3-4)

WHEN: 7:05 p.m.

TELEVISION: NESN

The Associated Press

BALTIMORE – Down by three runs in the sixth inning, the Boston Red Sox desperately needed a spark to get back into the game against the Baltimore Orioles.

With one mighty swing, David Ortiz launched a ball out of Camden Yards and sent the Red Sox on their way to an uplifting 8-6 victory Monday night.

Dustin Pedroia had two RBI and Mike Aviles scored the go-ahead run in the seventh to help Boston secure its ninth win in 11 games. The Red Sox are tied with the New York Yankees in the AL East cellar but are at .500 (21-21) for the first time since April 30.

“It’s definitely not a goal, but it’s better than being under .500,” Manager Bobby Valentine said.

Boston trailed 5-2 in the sixth before Ortiz hit a drive that was so obviously gone that right fielder Nick Markakis didn’t even turn around to see it become the 62nd homer in the 21-year history of Camden Yards to land on Eutaw Street.

It was his 10th homer of the season, second in three games, and the timing could not have been better.

“We start the rally afterward,” Ortiz said. “Somebody got to start it, right?”

Adrian Gonzalez followed with a double and Daniel Nava hit a sacrifice fly before starter Tommy Hunter balked in a run to tie it, and the Red Sox were on their way.

“We hit a couple of balls good early, but nothing like that,” Pedroia said. “That definitely jump-starts your offense and makes you feel like we can get to them.”

Hunter lamented the balk, but acknowledged that Ortiz had the most telling hit.

“The last inning was very frustrating,” he said. “I left the ball up to Ortiz. He (hit) the (stuffing) out of the ball.”

Chris Davis homered for the first-place Orioles, who swept a three-game series in Fenway Park earlier this month. It was the first meeting between the teams in Baltimore since the Orioles ruined Boston’s chances of reaching the playoffs with a walk-off win on the final day of the 2011 regular season.

“Yeah, it’s a tough one to lose, but there’s always positive things we can take away from the game,” Davis said. “We swung the bats really well tonight, made some good plays defensively. Just couldn’t hang in there.”

The Red Sox went up 7-5 in the seventh against Kevin Gregg (2-2). Aviles hit a one-out single and took third on a double by Pedroia before Ortiz received an intentional walk to load the bases. Gonzalez followed with a sacrifice fly and Will Middlebrooks added an RBI single, one of his three hits for the night.

Pedroia singled in a run in the eighth for a three-run lead.

Alfredo Aceves worked the ninth for his 10th save.

NOTES: Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said outfielder Cody Ross has a broken bone in his left foot and could be sidelined 6 to 8 weeks.

Ross fouled a ball off his foot in Friday night’s game against Philadelphia.