Smith Jr. homers, drives in 4 in O’s 8-1 win over Red Sox
BOSTON (AP) — Chris Davis knows his homer went a lot further than teammate Dwight Smith Jr.’s two-run shot. He also knows he’ll have his time to gloat.
“He’s been really doing well, there’s no reason to talk,” said Davis, smiling. “I’ll wait a little bit and talk.”
Davis also had a two-run shot — estimated just short of 100 feet longer than Smith’s — projected at 408 feet into the right-field bleachers.
“Honestly, I had no clue if it was going to get over,” Smith said of his drive. “Whoever caught it might have helped me out, honestly. A homer is a homer. I’ll take it anyway.”
Asked about Davis’ shot, Smith said: “He crushed it. That’s his name — ‘Crush’ — for a reason.”
Renato Núñez had three hits with an RBI single for Baltimore, which salvaged a split of the four-game series. It had lost nine of its previous 11 games and was 4-21 in its last 25 against Boston.
Davis halted a record 0-for-54 stretch Saturday, the longest ever for a position player. He started the season 0 for 33.
It was the 60th straight year the Red Sox were scheduled to play on the holiday. The defending World Series champs completed a 3-3 homestand and have yet to win one of their five series this season.
“It doesn’t concern me. It’s just a bad start,” Boston manager Alex Cora said.
Dan Straily (1-1) rebounded from a rough debut start with Baltimore, giving up a run on two hits in five innings. He was tagged for five runs and eight hits over 3 1/3 innings by Oakland last week.
The Red Sox open a two-game series against the Yankees on Tuesday night in New York, the first meeting between the rivals since they ousted the Yanks in the divisional round of the playoffs last October.
Leading 1-0, Baltimore scored three times in the fifth off reliever Marcus Walden. Smith’s homer sliced into the seats about 20 feet down from the Pesky Pole, which is 302 feet away, and came after Jonathan Villar’s RBI single.
Smith added a two-run double.
That led the Red Sox to have catcher Christian Vázquez started at second base for the first time in his career. He handled two grounders and a tag play cleanly.
“He was smooth. He was smooth, man,” Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. “Obviously behind the dish he’s pretty smooth, so I didn’t think we would have a problem with him back there.”
Orioles rookie manager Brandon Hyde got his first ejection, tossed by crew chief Mark Wegner after his challenge on the “slide rule” at second base was upheld. Hyde said he knew he was going to get thrown out.
“To me, they just made a wrong decision,” Hyde said. “I didn’t agree with the decision in New York at all.”
Spot starter Hector Velázquez (0-1) gave up a run in three innings.
Reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts was 0 for 3 and let his batting average drop to .222. He criticized himself harshly after the game, taking his share of the blame for Boston’s surprising 6-11 start after last year’s World Series championship.
“Basically, what I’m doing is unacceptable,” Betts said. “I have to figure out a way to get something done and help the team.”
Orioles: Smith was back in the lineup after not starting Sunday with a sore right leg.
MARATHON BOMBINGS MEMORY
There was a moment of silence before the game.
Six years ago, two bombs exploded near the Boston Marathon finish line less than an hour after the Red Sox beat Tampa Bay, killing three people and injuring more than 260.
The Red Sox wore jerseys with “BOSTON” in red letters on the front – something they started during a Marathon tribute when they returned to the field at Fenway Park for the first time after the bombings.
Cora shifted his lineup all around.
“Plenty of fun,” Cora said about making the lineup. “These are the days that you really enjoy being a manager. It’s a challenge and we’re ready to play.”
An original lineup had Pedroia at second, Vázquez catching and Pearce as the DH.
LHP Chris Sale (0-3, 9.00 ERA) looks to turn around his rough start against Yankees LHP James Paxton (1-2, 6.00) on Tuesday.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports