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BALTIMORE (AP) — A night that started so well for the Red Sox ended like so many others have this season — with Boston on the wrong end of a lopsided game.
Adam Jones hit a pair of two-run homers, Chris Tillman overcame a shaky first inning and the Baltimore Orioles rolled to a 7-2 victory Saturday.
Pitching on an extra day of rest because the Orioles have already clinched the AL East, Tillman struggled at the outset. He walked leadoff hitter Mookie Betts, got Xander Bogaerts to fly out and yielded a two-run homer to David Ortiz.
Allen Craig and Daniel Nava followed with singles, and at that point it appeared as if the last-place Red Sox were on a roll.
But Rusney Castillo struck out, as did Jackie Bradley Jr., and Boston's offense was done for the night.
"We didn't really do anything after that," manager John Farrell said. "Tillman started to mix in his full repertoire."
Tillman (13-5) gave up five hits in seven innings. He has allowed three runs or fewer in 20 consecutive starts, tied with Steve Barber for the second-longest such run in Orioles history behind Dave McNally (25).
"He was getting better as the game went on," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Maybe in 10 or 11 days, two weeks or whatever it is, he continues to pitch in that game."
Baltimore's likely starter in Game 1 of the playoffs, Tillman is 6-0 in 13 starts since July 12.
Jones connected against Rubby De La Rosa (4-8) in the third inning and Heath Hembree in the fifth. It was his sixth career two-homer game.
Christian Walker also went deep for Baltimore, hitting a solo shot in the fourth for his first major league homer.
Ortiz's shot in the first was his third homer in two games and No. 35 of the season. Ortiz now has 466 for his career, passing Dave Winfield for sole possession of 33rd place on the all-time list.
De La Rosa gave up four runs in four innings and is winless in his last seven starts.
"He's still showing good velocity," Farrell said. "Just the consistency to the overall execution is what's missing right now."
De La Rosa is trying to turn back the clock to a few months ago, when he was far more effective.
"I've been struggling with my mechanics and pitching, so I've tried to do the same thing I did in the beginning of the season," he said.
After Ortiz connected on a 75 mph curveball (he was previously 2 for 24 against Tillman), the Orioles took over.
Jones tied it in the third with Baltimore's major league-leading 200th home run of the season, and Walker led off the fourth with a drive into the center-field bleachers. The Orioles' fourth-round pick in 2012 was playing in his third big league game, inserted as a late replacement for an injured Steve Pearce (wrist).
The Orioles wrap up their regular-season home slate when they send Miguel Gonzalez (9-8, 3.28 ERA) to the mound on Sunday against RHP Joe Kelly (2-2, 4.21 ERA) , who makes his ninth start for Boston since being traded from St. Louis on July 31.
COUNT THE INNINGS
Red Sox: De La Rosa has pitched exactly four innings in each of his last three starts. He needed 80 pitches to get through four in this one.
Orioles: Tillman passed the 200-inning mark for the second straight year.
"Two hundred is important because it means you're out there and competing for your team, and you're giving your chance a team to win," he said.
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