By Ian Browne and Deesha Thosar
MLB.com |@IanMBrowne |
BOSTON -- The Orioles took sole possession of first place back from the Red Sox on their way out of town, cruising to a 5-1 victory in the rubber match of a three-game series Thursday night at Fenway Park.
Tyler Wilson (3-5, 4.16 ERA) turned in his best start of his young career, holding the dangerous Boston bats to a mere three hits over eight scoreless innings.
"More importantly, it's a great team win for us to be able to come in here in Fenway and take two of three from these guys and an offense like that, like you talked about," said Wilson. "Boston's a great team and they're going to be somebody that we have to fight all the way to the wire. That's what makes this division great."
Adam Jones unloaded for a towering two-run shot over the Green Monster in the third, and Baltimore never relinquished momentum.
Eduardo Rodriguez (1-2, 6.97) remained in a funk for the Red Sox, lasting just 4 1/3 innings and giving up eight hits and five runs.
"It comes down to the consistent execution," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "There were a number of at-bats when he would get ahead in the count and would misfire on the plate to give a guy a chance to put a ball into play. Then when he did get behind in the count, he found himself in some hitter counts that were being squared up."
David Ortiz crushed his 520th homer in the ninth, a solo shot to right-center off Brad Brach, to make it 5-1. Ortiz also doubled on a night the Red Sox totaled only four hits.
The American League East rivals don't meet again until Aug. 16.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Papi one away from Ted: Ortiz's next homer will tie him with three Hall of Famers -- Ted Williams, Willie McCovey and Frank Thomas -- for 19th on the all-time list at 521. The slugger has been a consistent force in his final season. He also smashed his 29th double, giving him the Major League lead in that category.
"He's just got great plate coverage in addition to the bat speed he's showed you," said Farrell. "It continues to be impressive, the year he is putting together."
Jones picking up on heaters: Jones sparked Baltimore's run parade in the third by crushing a 94-mph two-seam fastball over the Green Monster and onto Lansdowne Street for his 13th home run. An inning later, Jones hit a sharp line drive on an identical fastball dealt by Rodriguez into left field for an RBI double, scoring the Orioles' third run.
"It's not about us and them," Jones said when asked if he thinks it will the Orioles against the Red Sox down to the wire. "I think this division, how good and how deep the pitching is and the offense, we'll see. I always say look at the record after the All-Star break and we'll see."
Wilson flirts with one-hitter: Wilson held onto a one-hitter deep into the game. Before an Ortiz double that was challenged by manager Buck Showalter in the seventh, the only hit Wilson had given up was to No. 9 hitter Sandy Leon in the third. He allowed just one walk while striking out six.
"I felt good out there, and it's a byproduct of having guys who are all pulling on the same side of the rope out there," Wilson said. "Everybody's playing hard no matter what the situation. To come back from the game [Wednesday] night -- we had a chance to win that game after going down early. That's the identity, the way that we fight every time out there. It starts with the position players. It starts with the starting pitcher, a combination of everything. I just feel fortunate to be a part of that team win tonight." More >
Buchholz strong in relief: With Rodriguez struggling, perhaps Clay Buchholz will get a chance back into the rotation. The righty fired three strong innings in relief, allowing two hits and no walks while striking out four.
"I've felt like I've figured a couple of things out," said Buchholz. "It's one outing, but definitely that felt like I know how I can throw a baseball. Not a whole lot of balls, being able to throw strike one, throw offspeed pitches off of that. It's probably the first time I've had a changeup all year."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Ortiz's 209th career home run at Fenway pushed him past Hall of Famer Jim Rice and into sole possession of third place on the park's all-time list behind Williams and Carl Yastrzemski.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
In the seventh, Ortiz hit a sharp line drive down the left-field line and slid in for a double. Showalter wasn't convinced his foot reached the bag before the tag, so Baltimore challenged. After a one-minute, 39-second official replay review, the call on the field remained and the Orioles lost their challenge.
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles: Right-hander Mike Wright (3-3, 5.31) looks to pick up where he left off as the Orioles return to Baltimore to go head-to-head against another division foe in a three-game series vs. Toronto at Camden Yards. First pitch Friday is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Red Sox: Left-hander Roenis Elias will make his first start for the Red Sox, facing his former team, the Mariners, in the opener of a three-game series. First pitch for Friday night at Fenway is set for 7:10 p.m. ET. As a starter with Seattle, Elias was 15-20 with a 3.99 ERA.