BALTIMORE (AP) - Chris Tillman already has more wins in 2012 than the
combined total over his first three years in the big leagues.
That might come as a shock, except nothing the Baltimore Orioles do this season is all that surprising anymore.
pitched eight innings of one-hit ball, Ryan Flaherty hit his first
career grand slam and the Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox 9-1 on Friday
night remain a game out of first place in the AL East.
hit a two-run homer as the Orioles kept pace with the division-leading
Yankees, who beat Toronto 11-4. Baltimore also tightened its grip on the
top AL wild-card spot.
Tillman (9-2) gave up a bunt single to
leadoff hitter Scott Podsednik, then allowed only two walks the rest of
the way in his longest outing since July 4. The right-hander retired the
final 14 batters he faced, and the only run he allowed was unearned.
came to spring training with a 7-15 lifetime record. Although he
pitched well in camp, he began the season with Triple-A Norfolk and
remained there until July. In his last 12 starts, the 24-year-old is 8-1
with a 3.00 ERA and has become one of the most effective starters on
"He's one win away from winning 10 games, but we
hopefully have bigger fish to fry," manager Buck Showalter said. "He
keeps putting himself in a position to be worthy of getting the ball."
Tillman: "I feel like I'm confident in my delivery, and when you have
confidence in that, things will play out well for you. I just got to
take it pitch-by-pitch and not get too worried about the next inning or
the next game. One step at a time."
Troy Patton worked the ninth to complete the one-hitter.
was the 90th win for the Orioles, who went 69-93 last season. If
Baltimore wins three of its last five games it will make the postseason,
regardless of how the other contenders fare.
Boston has lost 14
of 20. Starter Aaron Cook (4-11) went one-plus innings, allowing six
runs, five hits and three walks. Only 18 of his 42 pitches were strikes.
"I wasn't making pitches. I was behind, and when I did come in there they hit balls over the fence," Cook said.
Asked what he might have done differently to be successful, Cook replied, "Not walk (anyone) and not give up hits."
a Rule 5 rookie, became the latest in a long line of heroes during the
Orioles' improbable season. He was batting .225 with five homers and 14
RBIs in 72 games before connecting to cap a six-run first inning that
included a two-run drive by Davis.
Flaherty also doubled in a run
in the fifth. The five RBIs were two more than his previous career high,
and it was only the third time he drove in more than one run in a game.
it seems like every night it's someone new," Flaherty said. "Whether it
is a pitcher, a hitter, a play in the field, something. We'll keep
Baltimore has hit nine homers in its last two games and has 122 at home, eclipsing the season record of 121 set in 1996.
In addition, the Orioles reached a positive run differential - 697-690 - for the first time since June 24.
scored an unearned run in the first inning. Podsednik bunted to the
right side and reached second when Flaherty's throw went wide of first
baseman Mark Reynolds. Two batters later, Dustin Pedroia hit a sacrifice
In the bottom half, Nate McLouth singled on Cook's first
pitch and Davis hit a drive into the seats in right. After two singles
and a walk loaded the bases, Flaherty sent a 2-1 breaking ball deep into
the night for a 6-1 lead.
Successive doubles by Reynolds, Manny
Machado and Flaherty, along with an RBI single by Taylor Teagarden, made
it 9-1 in the fifth.