BOSTON—It wasn’t until after midnight when the Orioles secured their 80th win of the season. On a strange night that featured Jordan Lyles handed a quick five-run lead and losing a chance for a win because of a 1-hour, 40-minute rain delay, the Orioles defeated the Boston Red Sox, 14-8, before an announced crowd of 25,634 at Fenway Park on Monday.
The Orioles hit five home runs. Cedric Mullins led off the game with a homer on the second pitch. Gunnar Henderson broke out of an 0-for-16 slump with a 428-foot homer, his fourth. Anthony Santander hit his 30th and 31st, and Austin Hays hit his 16th.
Santander is just the third switch-hitter in Orioles’ history to hit 30 home runs. Eddie Murray and Ken Singleton are the others.
The Orioles (80-73) are 3 ½ games behind Seattle for the final wild-card spot with nine games to play, and Lyles thinks there’s a chance for the postseason.
“One hundred percent,” he said. “We’re confident. We didn’t love the way the Houston series finished up … We know how talented we are and how good we are. We can get on a run.”
The Orioles’ 14 runs were one shy of their season high. On August 19th, the Orioles outslugged the Red Sox, 15-10. It was the sixth time this season they’d hit five home runs. They scored in every inning but the fourth and ninth.
“We swung the bats extremely well tonight, and we needed it,” manager Brandon Hyde said.
Mullins homered on Connor Seabold’s second pitch. It was his 16th home run of the season, his 16th career leadoff home run, and his fifth leadoff homer of 2022.
The Orioles added four more in the second on a ground-rule double by Rougned Odor, a single to left by Kyle Stowers, a two-run double to right by Jorge Mateo, a two-run triple by Mullins and a throwing error by catcher Reese McGuire, which allowed Mullins to score.
J.D. Martinez hit his 13th home run against Lyles to lead off the bottom of the second. Triston Casas walked, Rob Refsnyder singled and, with one out, Abraham Almonte singled to load the bases.
Kiké Hernandez singled to left to drive home Casas, and Hyde walked to the mound for an unusual early-game pep talk with Lyles, who threw a complete game in his last start.
“I wanted to make sure he was OK, and he assured me he was,” Hyde said. “He got out of that inning, fortunately, and, unfortunately, the rain came, and that ended his night.”
After Rafael Devers hit into a double play started by Odor at second to end the inning, rain came and delayed the game for 1 hour, 40 minutes.
“It just kind of stinks coming out after two innings because of the rain,” Lyles said.
When the game resumed, Taylor Danish replaced Seabold (0-4) and allowed an RBI triple to Stowers in the third to put the Orioles ahead, 6-2.
Spenser Watkins came in for Lyles, who allowed two runs on five hits in two innings.
After pitching a scoreless third, Watkins struggled through the fourth, allowing three runs on a two-run single by Hernández and an RBI single by Devers to cut the Orioles’ lead to 6-5.
The Orioles loaded the bases against Danish in the fifth, and Zack Kelly allowed RBI singles to Odor and Stowers for an 8-5 lead.
Santander hit his 30th home run to lead off the sixth. After Mountcastle walked for the third time, Henderson crushed a two-run home run to center to extend the Orioles’ lead to 11-5.
Mountcastle and Henderson each walked three times.
“It felt like I was able to take some close pitches and get myself into advantage counts,” Henderson said. “The offense was back clicking. We were able to help the pitchers out. It felt really nice to be back in the win column.”
Santander hit his 31st, a two-run homer, in the seventh. Hays added his 16th in the eighth. Santander is the first Orioles switch-hitter to hit 31 home runs since Murray in 1985.
“I think it’s great if we can maintain the same energy we had today,” Santander said through an interpreter. “We feel good about our chances.”
Watkins (5-6) allowed four runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Refsnyder hit a three-run home run against Logan Gillaspie in the seventh.
Notes: Grayson Rodriguez allowed a run on three hits in five innings as Triple-A Norfolk defeated Jacksonville, 5-1. Rodriguez struck out six and walked three, throwing 89 pitches. Third baseman Jordan Westburg hit a three-run double and catcher Anthony Bemboom hit his third home run. … Kyle Bradish (4-7, 4.65) will face Michael Wacha (11-1, 2.70) on Tuesday night. … Total rain delay time for the season is 15 hours, 28 minutes.