Orioles - 200 100 010 - 4 8 1 Red Sox - 003 112 30x - 10 13 1Six different Red Sox players hit home runs -- the 25th game in team history* with 6+ homers -- and, thanks to Tampa Bay's 5-1 win over the Yankees, Boston reclaimed the top spot in the AL East.
[Baseball Reference's data goes back only to 1919. But because Boston's first 6+ HR game in that span came in late 1940, and home runs were scarce throughout the Deadball Era, I'm assuming the Red Sox had no 6+ HR games from 1901-1918.]
Dustin Pedroia hit a three-run shot over the Wall and Monster Seats in the 3rd, Adrian Gonzalez hit a solo shot to center in the 5th, Jacoby Ellsbury had a two-run blast down the right field line in the 6th, and David Ortiz (dead CF), Josh Reddick (RF), and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (LF) hit back-to-back-to-back dongs in the 7th.
In the first inning, Miller (5-6-3-4-0, 98) was helped out by a double play after allowing singles to the first three Orioles batters. Baltimore left six men on base in the first four innings. ... Alfredo Aceves retired all six batters he faced in the sixth and seventh innings, throwing only 15 pitches.
Jake Arrieta / Andrew Miller
The Red Sox are in second place, 0.5 GB the Yankees. Seven of Boston's next 10 games are against the lowly Orioles (36-48, 14.5 GB), while the Yankees play eight of their next 12 games against the third-place Rays (48-39, 4 GB). This is an ideal chance to make a move in the East.
Boston has won all three of Miller's previous starts. Two of them were routs, but the lefty turned in a solid outing of six innings each time (6, 6, and 5.2, actually), well enough to give the team a chance to win even if the bats were not on fire.
While Miller's ERA is only 3.06, he has the highest strand rate (82.6% LOB, a tick above Josh Beckett's 82.5%) of any Boston pitcher with over eight innings pitched this year. His xFIP (park-adjusted Fielding Independent Pitching, a more accurate ERA-esque measure of a pitcher's ability to control what he has control over) is 4.10. xFIP is also better than ERA in predicting a pitcher's future performance.
Opponents have a .351 OBP against Miller, which is far too high; the AL average is .319. Miller has walked seven and allowed 19 hits in 17.2 innings. Walks have been his biggest liability in the past.
Arrieta, 25, has been remarkable consistent, if not particularly successful, this season. The righty's ERA has been between 4.03 and 5.06 since April 19 (14 starts).
AL East: Rays/Yankees at 7 PM.