First things first: Red Sox pound O's

First things first: Red Sox pound O's

BOSTON -- The series opener between the Red Sox and the Orioles was decided merely 11 pitches into the first inning on Monday night at Fenway Park. The Sox rallied early and never looked back against O's starter and former teammate Wade Miley during a 12-2 victory in which it pounded out 16 hits.

With the Blue Jays beating the Rays, 3-2, in Toronto on Monday, the Red Sox held onto their two-game lead in the American League East. The Orioles meanwhile fell to second place in the AL Wild Card standings and are three games back of Boston in the division.

"I know we're a really good team," said Mookie Betts, who caught the O's napping and scampered home with a run during a five-run first inning. "I know it's going to take all aspects -- pitching, hitting and baserunning. I think we've been doing all of it pretty well throughout the whole year. So I don't know if we're peaking, I just know we're playing well and we're just going to continue doing what we can."

Pulse of the Postseason in :30

Boston jumped on Miley for five runs in the first, with 10 of the 12 batters he faced reaching base. The Red Sox's offensive powerhouse featured moonshot homers from Hanley Ramirez and Chris Young before David Ortiz joined the party with career homer No. 536, tying Mickey Mantle for 17th place.

Hanley's long solo homer

Boston ace David Price tossed eight innings while allowing just two hits, both being solo shots that came off the bats of Chris Davis and Manny Machado. Price notched nine strikeouts, and it was the first time in his career that he has won seven straight games in seven straight starts.

Davis' 37th homer of the season

"A guy like David is pitching as well as anybody in baseball right now. That's why he can command those types of commitments that they made to him," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Price. "Tonight's a good example of how important those guys are. He's become so much of a pitcher and now his stuff is up to par, too. So you give him really four pitches to work with, it's a tough proposition."

Price dominates for seventh straight win

Papi's historic solo home run

Forever Young: Andrew Benintendi may soon take his spot in left field, but that didn't stop Young, who fell a triple shy of the cycle. The veteran left fielder went 4-for-4 with a solo home run in the fifth inning that sailed out of the ballpark. It was his ninth dinger of the year after hitting homers in consecutive games last Monday and Tuesday.

Young's solo homer in the 5th

"It's been fun. We've been kind of riding this out all year," Young said. "We've had ups and downs, but we're a good team overall and we try to hold onto that and continue to push and put pressure on other teams and play good baseball. If we continue to do that, I think we'll get a lot of wins."

Miley's struggles continue: Since coming to the O's as a non-waiver Trade Deadline acquisition, Miley has allowed 33 earned runs in 35 1/3 innings, posting a 8.41 ERA in eight starts. Monday marked the second time in five starts he was unable to get out of the second inning.

"They just came out swinging," Miley said. "Probably the best I've felt in a while. They came out and attacked. … They had some jam jobs in there. I don't know. It just happened fast. It happened real quick." More >

Pedroia powerful at Fenway: Boston's second baseman is 20 for his last 28 (.714) at Fenway after going 2-for-4 with a run on Monday. Pedroia extended his home on-base streak to 32 games, the longest such active streak in the AL. He's batting .506 over an 18-game hitting streak at Fenway.

"They came out swinging and they didn't stop in the first inning, either. They were swinging all day. They're a great hitting team. We just didn't have an answer for them tonight, but there's still two games left in the series. Got to chalk this one up tonight and go get 'em tomorrow." -- Orioles outfielder Steve Pearce

In the 13 games this season between Baltimore and Boston, there have been a total of 45 homers, 25 by the Red Sox and 20 by the Orioles.

In the first inning with no outs and two men on base, Ortiz hit a fly ball to Pearce in left field. Pearce caught the ball a step in front of the Green Monster, then dropped it on the warning track. The Orioles challenged the play as a transfer, but after a one-minute, 20-second review, the call on the field was confirmed.

Orioles challenge in the 1st

In the ninth inning with Hyun Soo Kim on first, Machado hit into a game-ending double play. Showalter asked for a crew chief review, but following a brief review, the call on the field stood.

Umpires review double play

Orioles: Dylan Bundy will take the mound on Tuesday coming off of one of his worst starts of the season against the Rays. Bundy has allowed five earned runs in two of his last three starts, bookending a win against the Yankees in which he threw 5 2/3 shutout innings. First pitch is 7:10 p.m. ET.

Red Sox: Lefty Drew Pomeranz will face the Orioles on seven days of rest in Game 2 of the series at Fenway Park. The lefty has given up two earned runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts.

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Deesha Thosar is a reporter for based in Boston.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.