Xander Bogaerts, right, celebrates his three-run home run with Hunter Renfroe during Boston’s 9-3 win over the Orioles on Saturday at Fenway Park in Boston. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

BOSTON — Xander Bogaerts homered and drove in four runs, carrying the AL wild card-leading Boston Red Sox past the Baltimore Orioles 9-3 Saturday for their fourth straight win.

The Red Sox moved to 1 1/2 games ahead of the rival Yankees, who lost to Cleveland 11-3. Boston entered the day one game in front of Toronto, which beat the Twins, 6-2.

“It’s fun being able to go out there to help your team,” Bogaerts said. “We know every game is huge now.”

Bobby Dalbec added a two-run double, and Hunter Renfroe and Rafael Devers each drove in a run for Boston. Bogaerts and Devers both had three hits.

Ryan Mountcastle hit his 30th homer, a two-run shot, and Austin Wynns added a solo drive for the Orioles, who lost for the 11th time in the last 12 meetings against the Red Sox after sweeping a season-opening three-game series between the teams.

Bogaerts’ three-run shot hit off a billboard atop the Green Monster against reliever Mike Baumann (1-1) after Renfroe had an RBI double and Devers singled during a game-breaking, four-run sixth.

Bogaerts also had a go-ahead, RBI single in the fifth, making it 4-3.

“We all know where we are,” he said. “We just have to go out there and try to continue to win games.”

Tanner Houck (1-4) earned the win, working 22/3 innings of scoreless relief.

“Having that today was a different experience,” said Houck, who was a starting pitcher in 12 of his previous 14 appearances this season. “It’s about going out there and putting the team in a good a spot to win.”

Trailing 2-0, the Red Sox scored three times in the bottom of the first on Devers’ RBI single and Dalbec’s two-out double.

The Orioles had a 2-0 lead after just two pitches against starter Nick Pivetta when Cedric Mullins doubled and Mountcastle followed with a shot into the Monster seats.

“When you have a season like this, you’re looking for bright spots to build on,” Orioles Manager Brandon Hyde said of his team’s major league-high 101st loss.

Mountcastle’s drive came a day after he surpassed Cal Ripken Jr.’s record (28) for most homers by an Orioles rookie.

Pivetta gave up three runs on seven hits, striking out one and walking three.

Boston’s bullpen has given up just two runs in the last 362/3 innings (0.49 ERA) and zero in the last 22.

Red Sox Manager Alex Cora maneuvered his pitchers like a playoff game, pulling Pivetta after 22/3 innings with two runners on. He lifted left-handed reliever Darwinzon Hernandez with two on and one out in the fifth for a right-handed pitcher vs. right-handed hitter matchup, bringing in Houck.

“When we have to be aggressive, we’re going to be aggressive,” Cora said of the moves. “Today, we had to be aggressive.”

NOTES: Red Sox infielder Christian Arroyo (on the COVID-19 related injured list since Aug. 27) is on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester and could be activated soon.


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