BALTIMORE—David Price has tormented the Orioles for years. It was about time they tormented him.
Price entered Friday night’s game with an 8-0 record at Oriole Park and a 2.72 ERA, but he allowed six runs in four innings as the Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox, 11-2
John Means, who had the worst start of his career six days ago, rebounded with six strong innings. Means allowed only Sam Travis’ two-run home run, and a total of four hits.
After Travis’ homer in the second, Means retired nine straight. By then, the Orioles had scored their six runs against Price.
“We took really good at-bats off him,” manager Brandon Hyde said “We weren’t swinging at balls. We got his pitch count up early in the game and battled. We really competed tonight. It was fun to watch.”
Anthony Santander’s three-run home run, his fifth, gave them a 3-0 lead in the first.
“I was looking for a good pitch,” Santander said through a translator. “It was a well-located pitch, and thankfully I was able to make really good, solid, hard contact.”
Shortstop Richie Martin’s liner to right was misplayed by J.D. Martinez, and Martin flew around the bases. He was credited with a triple, and scored on an error by Martinez, bobbled the ball after chasing it down.
“I wasn’t thinking inside-the-park, to be honest,” Martin said. “When I was rounding second, and I was getting ready to slide into third. I saw [third base coach Jose Flores] back up a little. …. He’s backing up and at the last minute, he started wheeling me, so I do what I’m told.”
Keon Broxton, in a 1-for-31 skid, hit his fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot in the fourth.
The Orioles scored two more runs against Colten Brewer in the fifth for an 8-2 lead.
Means, who was the Orioles’ representative in the All-Star Game, but didn’t pitch, hadn’t started in 10 days when he allowed six runs, and three home runs on July 13 against Tampa Bay. He equaled his season low with just a single strikeout and walked two.
“To go six innings and give up two runs to the Boston Red Sox,” Hyde said. “…Really, the only mistake was the homer, kind of a changeup that he cut a little bit into the middle part of the plate. He did what John Means has done all year, keep guys off balance, I love that he flashed more breaking balls tonight, threw some really nice breaking balls to [Rafael] Devers, located his fastball and gave us six great innings.”
Means threw 102 pitches on an evening when the game-time temperature was 96 degrees.
“I was pounding the zone pretty well,” Means said. “I was throwing it kind of where I wanted. There’s still some things that I’m working on as far as emotional standpoint and getting more swings and misses, but I did feel like I was locating pretty well.”
Means enjoyed the challenge of facing Price.
“A guy like that who’s been established in this league for so long, it’s cool to see him across the other side and to watch him pitch against you,” Means said. “You kind of take some pointers.”
Each Oriole starter had at least one hit. Broxton, Martin and Jonathan Villar had two.
“We just took good at-bats up and down the lineup,” Hyde said. “That was for me one of our better games of the year from all standpoints. We pitched outstanding. We played really good defense, ran the bases well and everybody contributed in the lineup. So, it was just a fantastic game for us.”
The Orioles have won consecutive games for just the sixth time this season. Their record is 30-66. Last year, they didn’t win their 30th game until the 104th game. They’re eight games ahead of last season.
Martin’s complete game: Martin had two hits and was strong on defense. He caught a Xander Bogaerts liner to lead off the eighth at the very top of his perfectly timed jump.
“It was one of his better games,” Hyde said. “He’s been working hard with our hitting guys, getting in a little better position to hit, and I think it’s starting to pay off where he’s taking some really nice swings.
“Richie’s been playing great defense all year. He’s a special defender. He’s unbelievably athletic and like I’ve said a lot, so impressive the way he doesn’t take his offense to his defense and continues to really contribute defensively every game he’s in there. It’s hopefully a game to build on.”
Martin broke an 0-for-24 slide on Wednesday with an eighth-inning single.
“I’m a little more spread out, hands lower, but other than that, approach is still the same,” Martin said.
Peterson re-signs: Norfolk utilityman Jace Peterson, who opted out of his contract on Monday, has re-signed a minor league deal with the Orioles
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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