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Manny Machado crushes Monster homer as Orioles leave Boston with 8-3 win

The Boston Red Sox seemed to let their predilection for throwing at Orioles third baseman Manny Machado fade as this week progressed. The same cannot be said for Machado's desire to clobber the Red Sox at the plate.

Machado hit another massive home run to provide most of the difference in the Orioles' 8-3 win to salvage a series split before 36,563 fans Thursday at Fenway Park.

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"It doesn't surprise anybody, all the things he showed with a lot of the challenges that come his way," manager Buck Showalter said. "We're proud of him. He's going to answer the challenge. If anybody doesn't think that, they haven't been watching."

Machado's big moment came when he opened a 6-3 lead in the fourth inning with one of the longest home runs of his career, a rope that still seemed to be rising as it passed over the Green Monster in left field at Fenway Park and landed an estimated 466 feet from home plate, according to Statcast.

It was his third home run in the series, one where he embraced the city of Boston's resentment for his slide into their longtime star, Dustin Pedroia, 13 days earlier. Amid the boos and Boston's continued attempts at retribution, the 24-year-old clobbered home runs and took his time admiring them.

At the end of his explicit screed aimed at the Red Sox on Tuesday, he said he liked to be booed. They did it on each of his three home runs, and cheered when he failed, as he did with three big hacks for a bases-loaded strikeout in the fifth inning.

"I mean, it doesn't bother me," Machado said. "I try to zone in. I've got to face a guy throwing 98, 92, with nasty stuff up there. that's where my concentrations lay, always."

But he was his typically brilliant self in the field, and helped the Orioles to a well-earned win. He had opportunities to add to his team-leading seven home runs and 19 RBIs, but even with just four hits in the series, every one carried a lot of weight.

And he let his play ultimately do the talking. When a question referenced the nonsense that had gone on this week, Machado said, "What nonsense?"

Later asked if he still felt the same way about the Red Sox as he did when he said he lost respect for them Tuesday, Machado deflected.

"This is my team," Machado said. "I play for Baltimore. I bleed for this team. I'm going to die out there, I'm going to do whatever I've got to do to keep this team going."

Separate fates for spot starters: Neither Tyler Wilson nor Kyle Kendrick thought they would be starting the series finale when these teams first met Monday, and the two right-handers had different days.

Kendrick didn't return for the fifth inning after Machado's home run capped a five-run fourth. But after a rocky start, Wilson settled in to pitch six innings, allowing three runs on six hits, to give the Orioles a chance to win in dire circumstances.

"That was special," Showalter said. "You could tell today he was looking forward to the challenge."

"I really enjoyed it," Wilson said. "I was grateful for the opportunity from the time getting the call, all the way up until learning that I was starting and throughout the game today. Obviously, there's a lot going on in the game right now and I was just thankful to be the one called on to go out and challenge those guys and give our team a chance to win."

Double steal: Right fielder Seth Smith stole home as part of a third-inning double steal with Machado, marking the first time the Orioles stole home since Jimmy Paredes did it on May 27, 2015 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

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The two swiped bags gave the Orioles nine as a team through 27 games. They had 19 in all of 2016.

Everybody hits: But really. When catcher Caleb Joseph singled to open the seventh inning, he was the ninth of the Orioles' nine starters to get a hit.

Smith led the way with four hits while reaching in all five of his trips, and second baseman Jonathan Schoop added three singles. Mark Trumbo, Adam Jones and Machado had two apiece.

What a relief: The Orioles relief corps of Mychal Givens and Donnie Hart got some help from defensive replacement Joey Rickard in right field to keep the cushion in the seventh inning. Hart and Givens conspired to load the bases with two outs, and left fielder Andrew Benintendi crushed a ball to the warning track that Rickard had a hard time judging but snowconed to haul in and end the inning.

jmeoli@baltsun.com

twitter.com/JonMeoli

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