Boston right-hander John Lackey entered his start tonight with both modest stats in his recent starts this year and modest numbers on the season against the Orioles. But Lackey took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in pitching Boston past the Orioles 3-1 at Fenway Park.
The Orioles come up a win short in their attempt to become the first team to sweep three in Boston this year. They are now 4-2 on this trip and will take an 81-71 record into their four-game series against Tampa Bay.
The O's had just two baserunners through six innings on walks issued to Brian Roberts and Nate McLouth. Adam Jones homered to left with one out in the seventh to end the no-hit and shutout bids. For Jones, that ended an eight-game stretch without an RBI.
Lackey pitched a complete-game two-hitter. He walked two and fanned eight. J.J. Hardy's single in the eighth was the only other hit he allowed. He threw 113 pitches and improved to 10-12 with an ERA of 3.44.
He entered this outing 1-1 with a 6.52 ERA in three September starts and 1-1 with a 4.35 ERA in three starts against the Orioles this year.
Chris Tillman gave up a two-run homer to Stephen Drew and an RBI single to Dustin Pedroia to make it 3-0 in the second inning. But he settled down and allowed just two hits after that, going seven innings on the night. He takes the loss to fall to 16-7 with an ERA of 3.70.
Tillman entered the outing 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA on the year against Boston and 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA in nine career starts against the Red Sox.
The Orioles scored just nine runs in this series and have scored five or fewer runs for 16 consecutive games.
The Orioles are 39-38 on the road, 28-28 since the All-Star break, 32-34 vs. the AL East and 9-7 against Boston.
Now, their pursuit of a playoff berth heads to St. Petersburg for a four-game series against Tampa Bay that starts Friday night at 7:10 p.m., when Jason Hammel (7-8, 5.12 ERA) pitches against David Price (8-8, 3.42 ERA).