The Orioles extended their best start in club history with a 9-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night, and were once again aided by the home run ball.
The Orioles, who have opened the season 7-0, received two two-run homers from J.J. Hardy and another two-run blast from Mark Trumbo. In two games in Boston, 12 of the Orioles' 18 runs were scored by five home runs.
Trumbo's homer, which came off Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz and tied the score at 4-4 in the sixth, came after Boston catcher Blake Swihart let a pop-up in foul ground drop in front of him, extending Trumbo's eventual nine-pitch at-bat.
Trumbo's blast turned the game, opening up a three-run inning as he took a 3-2 pitch over the Green Monster in left field and off the farthest advertisement sign behind it onto Lansdowne Street.
The Orioles have hit 13 homers in seven games this season.
Buchholz wouldn't escaped the sixth. He walked Matt Wieters, then allowed a double to Pedro Alvarez off the left-field wall before he was removed for reliever Noe Ramirez, who allowed a sacrifice fly to Hardy to score the go-ahead run.
The Orioles added four insurance runs in the seventh on Wieters' two-run single and Hardy's second homer of the night.
Trumbo had three hits on the night, adding a single and double to his homer.
This is the Orioles' best start in the team's 63-year history in Baltimore. The 1944 St. Louis Browns started the season 9-0 and became the Orioles 10 years later.
The Orioles became the 28th team since 1903 to start 7-0 or better, per the Elias Sports Bureau. Five of those teams went on to win the World Series, including the 2015 Kansas City Royals.
Wright stuff: If there was any true victim of the Orioles' rain-drenched opening week, it was right-hander Mike Wright. His first start was pushed back when right-hander Chris Tillman came back on short rest after throwing just 22 pitches before a rain delay ended his start on Opening Day. On Saturday, Wright completed his pregame warmup routine before the game was postponed.
By the time he took the mound at Fenway Park on Tuesday night, it had been 15 days since he last pitched in a game, that outing coming in a spring training game at Fenway Park South on March 28.
Wright carried a strong fastball that hit 98 mph on the stadium radar gun, sprinkling in his curveball and changeup as the game went along to keep the Red Sox off balance.
He worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning, an escape act that showed he has come a long way from his rookie season, when a few base runners in the middle innings usually would have done him in.
His slider, however, wasn't working for him. He hit two batters with it in the fourth and another slider in the fifth skipped past Wieters, allowing a run to score to give Boston a 4-2 lead.
Wright still earned the win in his regular-season debut, allowing four runs on five hits over five innings.
Bundy back on the mound: Dylan Bundy worked 2 1/3 innings in relief, his first multiple-inning stint of his big league career. He allowed one run on three hits.
Bundy hadn't pitched since Thursday — a scoreless eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins — but was sharp for his first two innings. He retired six of the first seven hitters he faced, allowing just one hit before the Red Sox got to him in the eighth. He didn't record a strikeout or a walk in his outing.
The Orioles used Bundy in a variety of roles during spring training, including several stints of more than one inning. But seeing the former first-round draft pick mostly effective through 2 1/3 innings had to be rewarding for the Orioles. Injuries limited Bundy to 17 minor league appearances since undergoing Tommy John elbow reconstruction in 2013.