MLB Standings: Boston Red Sox Win Over Baltimore Orioles, Extend AL East Lead

By E Sarmiento, Posted: 09/21/16 04:31AM EDT
Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles
David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates a three run home run during the seventh inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo : Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The hunt for October is getting intense, but the Boston Red Sox are thriving under the pressure. With less than two weeks left in the regular season, the Red Sox have scored six straight wins against division rivals -- four against the New York Yankees and two against the Baltimore Orioles.

The Red Sox unleashed a 5-2 masterpiece that has left the Orioles stumbling five games behind, as they extended their lead in the AL East standings. Boston just needs eight more wins to clinch the division, and it isn't lost on the Red Sox that they are gaining momentum heading into the playoffs.

"I think there is growing confidence in our clubhouse daily," Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the ballgame. "We've responded to a number of challenges, whether it's on the road or coming from behind to win ball games in the division. Those are key. When you succeed in those, that's a snowball effect that takes place."

David Ortiz scored his 36th home run of the season, a three-run smash that gave the Red Sox a 5-1 lead in the seventh inning. The 40-year-old star is retiring at the end of the year but is still breaking records. His 36 home runs in a season is the most of any retiring player, one ahead of the record set by Dave Kingman in 1986.

"I'll try to hit a couple more so nobody can reach me," Ortiz said. "It's just a number, man. I'm just trying to help this ballclub. I don't care about personal numbers. I care about winning."

Jackie Bradley Jr. also homered in the game, earning his 26th for the season. Both players homered off Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman, who was riding a five-game winning streak before allowing five runs on ten hits with five strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings. The Orioles scored a homer of their own in the fifth inning, when Trey Mancini made his major league debut for the team.

The Toronto Blue Jays, meanwhile, won against the Seattle Mariners, 10-2, staying four games behind the Red Sox. Currently, Toronto and Baltimore are the wildcard teams from AL East.

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