Orioles beat Boston, now on verge of clinching playoff berth

The Orioles have reduced their magic number to clinch their first playoff berth since 1997 to one after today's 6-3 win over Boston in front of 41,257 at Camden Yards.

The Orioles would have officially clinched a playoff berth if Los Angeles had lost to Texas, but the Angels rallied in the ninth for a 5-4 win. They play the night portion of that day-night doubleheader at 7:05 and the O's will earn a playoff spot with an Angels loss.

The Orioles began the day tied with the Yankees for the AL East lead and remain that way as New York beat Toronto, 9-6.

The Orioles got the quick lead today with a three-run first inning that included Nate McLouth's third leadoff homer as an Oriole. It was his seventh homer. Jim Thome drove in a first-inning run. He had a pair of RBI singles and he now has eight hits over his last 17 at-bats with four RBIs.

The Orioles outscored Boston 9-1 in the first inning in the series.

Chris Davis hit a solo homer in the fifth and that was his 31st of the year and fifth over the last four games. Davis has now homered in four straight games. The only other Oriole to do that during the 2012 was Nolan Reimold from April 13-17. J.J. Hardy added a solo homer, his 22nd.

Joe Saunders got the win with another strong day on the mound for the Orioles. He gave up eight hits and three runs over 7 1/3, throwing 90 pitches. He is now 3-3 with an ERA of 3.63. His ERA is 2.75 over his past six starts.

The Orioles finished with a 79-date season home attendance total of 2,102, 240.

The Orioles improved to 92-67 by winning for the 11th time in 14 games and 37th in the last 53 games. They now head to Tampa Bay for the final series of the regular season.

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