Red Sox get much-needed win vs. Orioles to keep pace in wild card race

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Boston Red Sox finally put it all together, and it didn’t matter one bit that this very important victory came at the expense of the last-place Baltimore Orioles.

J.D. Martinez and Hunter Renfroe homered to back a dominant pitching performance by Nathan Eovaldi, and Boston broke a four-game skid and bolstered its playoff hopes with a 6-0 shutout Wednesday night.

The victory enabled the Red Sox to move within a game of the New York Yankees for the top AL wild card. Toronto remained one game in back of Boston for the other wild-card spot, with Seattle also in the mix.

“We did a lot of good things. Overall, a pretty good game,” manager Alex Cora said. “Our goal was to come here and win the series, and we have a chance to do that tomorrow.”

Boston failed to score more than three runs in any game during New York’s weekend sweep at Fenway Park, and the trend continued Tuesday with a 4-2 loss to Baltimore.

But the Red Sox rebounded with a 13-hit outburst, led by two of their most prolific hitters.

“We’re a lot better when the big boys do damage,” Cora said. “That was a good first step.”

Martinez hit his 28th homer in the second inning for a 1-0 lead, and the Red Sox used a broken-bat single and an error to tack on two unearned runs in the sixth.

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