BALTIMORE (AP) — The Boston Red Sox are dominating most major league teams this season, so it comes as no surprise that they’ve had their way against the worst of the bunch.
Rick Porcello scattered six hits over six scoreless innings, Mitch Moreland homered and Boston breezed past the Baltimore Orioles 5-3 Monday night.
Andrew Benintendi drove in two runs for the AL East leaders, who have won 15 of 17 to move 40 games over .500 (71-31) for the first time since 1949.
“The team is playing amazing. It’s pitching, hitting, running bases,” said center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., who contributed a sensational catch. “Any time you are playing the game the right way and guys are executing, it makes for some wins. That’s what we’ve been able to do.”
Working through rain delays of 43 and 19 minutes, Porcello (12-4) struck out six and walked one in surpassing his win total of 2017. It was a nice bounce-back performance by the 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner, who allowed eight runs in two innings against Toronto in his last outing.
“We’ve built a nice foundation for ourselves so far this season,” the right-hander said. “We still have a lot of baseball to play and we’ve got to keep going. It’s not like we’re winning this division by 15 games. The Yankees are right there.”
The Orioles are not. With a 28-73 record, they’re 42½ games behind Boston. The Red Sox are 10-1 against Baltimore this season and have won nine straight at Camden Yards.
Since trading shortstop Manny Machado at the All-Star break, the Orioles have lost four in a row. Machado’s cubicle is now occupied by Jonathan Schoop, who homered and doubled in the loss.
“He told them to give me his locker,” Schoop said. “It’s different, but I’m trying to get through it. It’s hard without him.”
After Schoop hit a two-run homer off Brandon Workman in the eighth, Craig Kimbrel gave up an RBI single to Caleb Joseph in the ninth but earned his 32nd save.
Kevin Gausman (4-8) gave up five runs, three hits and three walks for Baltimore. He came undone during Boston’s four-run fifth, when he issued three straight walks — the last with the bases loaded — and a two-run double to Benintendi.
“I’m sure the rain delays had something to do with it,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s tough on both pitchers, starting and stopping, the time between pitching.”
Moreland made it 1-0 in the second with his 12th home run. Two rain delays later, the Orioles missed a chance to pull even in the third when Jace Peterson was easily thrown out trying to score from first on a two-out double by Schoop.
In the fourth, with a runner on third and one out, Porcello struck out Chris Davis and Trey Mancini.
Bradley robbed Mancini of extra bases with a superb running catch , reaching over his head to snag a ball in front of the center-field wall.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (right ankle sprain) will be in a walking boot for another week. “He texted me the other day that he feels good, whatever that means,” manager Alex Cora said. … 2B Dustin Pedroia (knee surgery) is recovering at home in Arizona, and evidently not close to coming off the DL. “When we get back home (Thursday) we’ll probably address where he’s at and go from there,” Cora said.
Orioles: OF Craig Gentry (broken rib) and INF Steve Wilkerson (left oblique strain) have started baseball activities. … RHP Darren O’Day (hamstring surgery) arrived on crutches to begin a long rehab program under trainer Brian Ebel that will extend well into the offseason.
When it comes to the rain, Cora knows it’s pointless to overthink it.
“When they tell us we’re not playing, we go to the hotel. If we play, we play,” he said. “I don’t spend a lot of time watching the Weather Channel.”
Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (1-3, 6.81 ERA) comes off the disabled list to make his first start since May 31. He had left biceps tendinitis. In his last rehab start, he pitched six innings of one-hit ball and had “conviction behind the pitches,” according to Cora.
Orioles: Rookie RHP Yefry Ramirez (0-3, 3.09 ERA) makes his fifth career start, still in pursuit of his first major league win.