By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
BOSTON -- Baseball's Home Run Derby doesn't take place until next Monday in Phoenix, but the Red Sox gave fans a sneak preview Thursday night at Fenway.
The Red Sox belted a season-high six home runs -- including three in a row in the seventh inning -- to defeat the Baltimore Orioles, 10-4.
Coupled with the Yankees' loss to Tampa Bay, the win vaulted the Sox into first place in the American League East by half a game. The win was Boston's seventh in its last eight games.
The Sox got a three-run shot from Dustin Pedroia in the third, a solo blast from Adrian Gonzalez in the fifth and a two-run homer from Jacoby Ellsbury in the sixth.
They then greeted lefty reliever Pedro Viola with back-to-back-to-back homers in the seventh from David Ortiz, Josh Reddick and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Andrew Miller walked four in five innings and spotted the Orioles a quick 2-0 lead in the first, but limited them to just one run over his final four innings.
Alfredo Aceves, Scott Atchison and Bobby Jenks finished up for the Sox.
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Forget that cryptic Tweet to the Globe. David Ortiz isn't walking through that door, fans. At least not as a player.
"My playing time has already expired," Ortiz told ESPN Deportes. "Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow.' Baseball is something that carries a lot of sacrifice, a lot of preparation, and there is a reason why we train the entire year to play it, practice every day, especially during the season, because it is a sport of consistency."
No one really thought he was contemplating a comeback, but last week he Tweeted this . . .
. . . and that raised hopes that he'd changed his mind.
Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.
Terms of the deals were not announced.
It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.