The Baltimore Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox 10-6 Wednesday to complete a three game sweep at Fenway Park. As the season winds down the Orioles are moving closer and closer to clinching the American League East Division for the first time since 1997.
The Orioles (86-59) are 10 games ahead of the second place Toronto Blue Jays with 17 games left to play in the 162 game regular season. Their magic number is eight. Any combination of Orioles wins or Toronto losses that equals eight will give the Orioles the ALED crown.
Wednesday’s game saw the Birds explode for six runs in the third inning. They had a 10-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth inning and held on as the Red Sox scored five in the ninth to make things interesting.
The Orioles offense was led by catcher Caleb Joseph who went 3-5 including a two-run homer in the fifth inning. Adam Jones also went 3-5 including two doubles and two RBI. Ryan Flaherty had the first four hit game of his career.
Starter Wei Yin Chen went seven innings striking out four while allowing only three hits and one run. He now has a 3.59 ERA. He improved to a team-leading (15-4) for the season.
Reliever Darren O’Day came into the game to halt the rally while recording his third save of the year.
Tuesday’s 4-1 win saw a breakout game from late season aquisition Alejandro De Aza who had two home runs and almost had a third as the ball bounced high off the Green Monster for a double. De Aza and centerfielder Jones hit back to back homers in the third inning. Jones hit his 25th homer of the year and is the first Oriole outfielder to ever hit 25 home runs in four straight seasons.
On the hill, starter Chris Tillman (12-5) lasted six innings while striking out five. He allowed only six hits and one run. He walked two and now has a 3.36 ERA.
Monday’s opening game was dominated by Oriole starter Miguel Gonzalez (9-7) who helped shut out the Red Sox 4-0. This after pitching his first ever complete game shutout in his last start. He went 6.1 innings giving up six hits while walking three and striking out four. He now has a 3.22 ERA.
The offense was led by Nelson Cruz who went 2-4 and scored two runs. Steve Pearce also went 2-4 with one RBI.