(Reuters) - David Ortiz sparked a dramatic comeback with a sixth-inning home run to help the Boston Red Sox beat the first-place Baltimore Orioles 8-6 on Monday to get their record back on level terms for the first time in nearly a month.
Trailing 5-2 on the road, Ortiz blasted a solo homer to trigger Boston's three-run sixth, and the surging Red Sox added late runs to secure their ninth victory in 11 games.
Even without injured outfielders Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney, Boston found a way to keep their run intact.
"We're going to play hard every night," infielder Dustin Pedroia told reporters after he finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs. "We have other guys that can step right in and perform well and help us win a lot of games."
Boston were in a tailspin at the beginning of the month, but have now tied with the Yankees at 21-21, the first time the team have been .500 since April 30.
They trail Baltimore by 5 ½ games.
The Orioles (27-16) scored four times in the third, and Chris Davis homered in the fifth to give the home team early control but the Red Sox rallied back.
Adrian Gonzalez hit the go-ahead sacrifice-fly in the seventh, where Will Middlebrooks had a run-scoring single, while Pedroia added an RBI in the eighth.
Middlebrooks finished with three hits.
It became a battle of bullpens down the stretch, with Boston's preserving the triumph. Clay Buchholz allowed five runs, but Andrew Miller came on in the sixth and tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings to get the win.
The Red Sox battered Baltimore's pitching for 14 hits, chasing starter Tommy Hunter after six innings. Reliever Kevin Gregg surrendered the two runs in the seventh to take the loss.
"The (sixth) inning was very frustrating," Hunter said. "I left the ball up to Ortiz. It's just one of those things."
(Reporting by Alastair Himmer)