Tillman, Flaherty and Davis lead O's past Sox in series opener

Well, this is no way to treat a negative run differential.

After winning 12-2 over Toronto on Wednesday, the Orioles beat the Red Sox 9-1 Friday night in the opener of the final regular season home series of the 2012 season.

A festive crowd of 33,518 enjoyed it at Camden Yards as the Orioles won for the ninth time in 12 games, the 23rd in 33 and improved to 35-16 over the last 51 games.

As of the end of the O's game, the Yankees led Toronto 7-2 in the seventh. A New York win tonight and the Orioles would remain one game back in the AL East with five to play.

There was a lot of offense on the night, but also an outstanding pitching performance by Chris Tillman. He allowed just one hit and one run that was not earned over eight innings. He walked two and fanned four, improving to 9-2 with an ERA of 2.78 on the year. The only hit he allowed was a bunt single to start the game by Scott Podsednik.

Tillman has an ERA of 0.90 over his last three starts and is 3-0 with an ERA of 1.20 over his past five games.

Tonight's attendance increased the season total to 2,014,672 and it's the first time since 2007 the Orioles passed the two million mark.

Ryan Flaherty, whose error allowed Boston to post an unearned run and take a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, had a grand slam and career-high five RBI night.

The Orioles exploded for six runs on two homers in the last of the first. Chris Davis, who hit two homers Wednesday, hit a two-run shot in the last of the first. His 29th on the year and 11th in the last 31 games, gave the O's a 2-1 lead.

With two outs and none on, the Orioles loaded the bases against Aaron Cook and Flaherty hammed one out for his first career slam and a 6-1 lead. He added an RBI double when the O's scored three more times in the fifth.

The Orioles improved to 45-34 at home, 17-9 in September, 11-5 against Boston and 90-67 on the year.

In the second game of this series Saturday night, Steve Johnson (4-0, 1.62 ERA) faces lefty Felix Doubront (11-9, 4.91 ERA) at 7:05 p.m.

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