Yesterday we posted our latest edition of Orioles101’s Throwback Thursday and we compared the 2013 Baltimore Orioles to the 2012 version. Last night, the O’s looked like the 2012 version as they used timely hitting, and Chris Tillman pitching and a shutdown ninth by Jim Johnson to secure a 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
Tillman (15-4) was absolutely fantastic on the night, despite nearly cracking the 40 pitch mark after two innings. He worked himself out of a couple jams early and cruised the rest of his outing. When Tillman completed his night, he did so by retiring 12 of the last 14 batters he faced and finished the night with seven innings pitched, while allowing just two runs on six hits, zero walks and eight strikeouts on 111 pitches, 77 of which were for strikes.
It was the ninth time this season that Tillman completed seven or more innings and became the first Orioles pitcher to win 15 games in a season since Eric Bedard in 2006. The O’s as a team are 20-7 in games he has started this season and are 14-4 in his last 18 starts, Tillman is 12-2 in that stretch.
Tommy Hunter and Brian Matusz combined for a scoreless eighth inning, including a Matusz strikeout of David Ortiz with the tying run at second base. Jim Johnson came on for his 41stsave of the season by pitching a fairly painless ninth inning.
Baltimore’s offense, although they went 3-12 with runners in scoring position, did just enough to put the Orioles on top. Manny Machado gave the Birds the lead in the third as he delivered a clutch one out two run double to not only give Baltimore a 2-1 lead, but to answer the run the Red Sox scored in the bottom of the second. It was Machado's 45th double of the season.
Chris Davis gave the O's an insurance run that they ended up needing when he hit a two out RBI double to score Adam Jones. Davis now has 38 doubles and with two more he would become just the 12th player in MLB history to have a season with 40 or more homers and 40 or more doubles.
Machado, Jones and Danny Valencia each had two hits apiece to lead the Birds offensively.
The Orioles had everything there for the taking last night and took advantage as the Rays and A’s had already lost in the afternoon and the Indians got shutout by the Braves. Thus every team in front of them in the standings had lost, and Baltimore beat the other team in front of them to gain a game on all four teams in the standings. The Birds will now turn their attention to the New York Yankees as they begin a three game set in the Bronx tonight and will send Miguel Gonzalez (8-6) to the mound for the start.
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