BALTIMORE — It’s payback time for the Baltimore Orioles, who have dominated the Boston Red Sox this season after being bullied by their AL East rivals for the better part of 15 years.
Mark Reynolds homered twice and drove in four runs, Omar Quintanilla also went deep, and Baltimore beat Josh Beckett and the Red Sox 7-1 Tuesday night.
Wei-Yin Chen (11-7) gave up one run, nine hits and a walk in six-plus innings for the Orioles, who moved 10 games over .500 (63-53) for the first time since June 24. Chen allowed at least one hit in each inning but was effective in minimizing the damage.
Baltimore is 7-3 against Boston this year, including 5-1 at Fenway Park. The Orioles have won the season series against the Red Sox only once since 1996, going 10-9 in 2004.
The trend seems to have reversed, and the Orioles can only hope it lasts.
“We’ve been playing really well against them all year,” said Chris Davis, who had two hits and an RBI. “It was big for us to get the win and kind of set the tone for the series.”
Playing in his fifth major league game, Baltimore’s Manny Machado was held hitless for the first time. But he made two fine plays at third base, where he has yet to make an error.
This isn’t the same Boston club that lost in Baltimore on the final day of the season last year to fall out of the playoff picture.
This Red Sox team is 57-60, and Dustin Pedroia acknowledged after the game that there were a series of meetings in New York last month to discuss the team’s decline under first-year manager Bobby Valentine.
“I know the coaches had a meeting, Bobby had a meeting, we all had a meeting,” Pedroia said. “Basically when I spoke I said we all had to be better. That means the owners, Bobby, coaches, especially the players. I have had one problem with Bobby earlier in the year and I went into his office and talked to him like a man and he talked to me like a man. And we’ve been great. We’ve had a great relationship.”
Pedroia said Valentine should keep his job.
“I don’t think Bobby should be fired,” he said. “Listen, we haven’t played well and I am not going to blame anything on Bobby and I don’t think anybody else is. It’s on the players, man. Last year wasn’t on (Manager Terry Francona). I know he took it hard. We all did. It’s on the players, man.”
Beckett (5-10) surrendered six runs and six hits, including two home runs, in 51/3 innings.
“You have to keep the ball down,” he said. “This isn’t a real friendly ballpark (for pitchers).”
It’s been a nightmare season for the right-hander, 1-6 in 12 starts since May 20. In his past two outings against Texas and Baltimore, Beckett has yielded a combined 14 runs and five homers in 101/3 innings.
Reynolds hit a solo shot off Beckett in the fifth and greeted Mark Melancon with a three-run drive in the sixth. After totaling 113 homers over the three previous seasons, Reynolds has only 11 this year. It was his first multihomer game since last Sept. 21, when he connected twice against Beckett.