BOSTON - Chris Tillman has returned to the mound for the bottom of the seventh inning, trying to hold onto a 3-2 lead over the Red Sox.
Jon Lester was done after the sixth, charged with three runs and five hits, with three walks and four strikeouts. He won’t pick up his 16th career win over the Orioles in 24 starts.
Tillman had retired eight in a row and 12 of 14 before Shane Victorino led off the sixth with his third home run and ninth RBI of this series. Daniel Nava doubled with two outs, but Jonny Gomes grounded out on Tillman’s 98th pitch of the game.
Tillman has allowed two runs and six hits, with no walks, seven strikeouts and a home run.
This would be only the second time in 27 starts that Tillman didn’t issue a walk. It also happened on May 24 in Toronto.
The seven strikeouts are two short of Tillman’s season high.
Tillman has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his last five starts, but he’s still got work to do tonight. Kevin Gausman is warming in the Orioles’ bullpen.
Manny Machado has doubled and singled for his 49th multi-hit game of the season. Adam Jones has reached twice on infield hits.
They were both stranded in the top of the seventh when Chris Davis flied to center, making the Orioles 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position tonight. They’ve stranded seven.
Down on the farm, Brandon Waring has hit three home runs tonight for Double-A Bowie.
Update: Tillman retired the side in order in the seventh, but he’s coming out of the game after 111 pitches. Tommy Hunter will work the eighth.
Tillman has lowered his road ERA to 2.93 in 12 starts. He allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings, with no walks, eight strikeouts and one home run.
Update II: Jacoby Ellsbury led off the bottom of the eighth with a single off Hunter and stole second despite a pitch-out - his 50th steal of the season. He reached third base with two outs, and Brian Matusz was summoned from the bullpen to face David Ortiz.
Ortiz struck out, making him 1-for-19 with 11 strikeouts vs. Matusz.
Update III: Game over. Jim Johnson records his 41st save in the Orioles’ 3-2 win over the Red Sox.
Tillman finally gets his 15th win.
Daniel Nava reached on an infield hit to lead off the bottom of the ninth, with Johnson fielding the ball as Chris Davis also went for it. Nobody covered the bag.
Jonny Gomes grounded into a 6-4-3 double play and Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out to end the game.
The Orioles avoided the sweep and now trail Oakland by 3 1/2 games for the last wild card spot.