Tyler Wilson pitches eight scoreless as O’s take series in Boston

Right-hander Tyler Wilson pitched a huge game at Fenway Park for the Orioles tonight, leading the Birds past the Red Sox 5-1 and back alone in first place in the American League East.

Why was this start so big?

* O’s starters had an ERA of 7.57 in the first six games of this road trip. O’s starters had pitched just 10 1/3 innings the past three games.

* The Orioles won the series at Fenway Park.

* The O’s end with a respectable 3-4 road trip to Toronto and Boston, rather than going 2-5.

* The Orioles improved to 6-4 versus Boston and regained sole possession of first place.

* Wilson needed it. He was 0-4 with an ERA of 6.67 his previous five starts and had allowed 10 runs over 9 2/3 in his last two starts.

Wilson-Throws-Orange-Sidebar.jpgOver eight innings and 100 pitches, he allowed just two singles and a double with one walk and six strikeouts. He recorded career highs in strikeouts and innings while improving to 3-5 with an ERA of 4.16. He threw this great game tonight against a Boston team that in nine games this year against the Orioles was batting .302 with an OPS of .891 and scoring 5.88 runs per game.

The Orioles defense was exceptional behind him with outfielders Joey Rickard and Nolan Reimold making nice catches while in the infield first baseman Chris Davis and third baseman Paul Janish made outstanding plays.

Buck Showalter went for Brad Brach to pitch the ninth instead of giving Wilson a chance to finish the shutout. The last Orioles complete game and complete-game shutout came on Sept. 3, 2014 when Miguel Gonzalez shut out the Reds in a complete game. David Ortiz hit a solo homer with two outs in the ninth off Brach as Boston avoided a shutout loss.

With the win, the Orioles break their first-place tie to move one game ahead of the Red Sox at 38-27. The Orioles are 10-5 over their last 15 games and won for the second time in six games.

The Orioles backed Wilson by scoring five runs over 4 1/3 innings against former O’s minor leaguer Eduardo Rodriguez. He gave up eight hits and his ERA rose from 6.06 to 6.97 tonight. Rodriguez has a career 4.97 ERA against the Orioles, who are 4-1 in Rodriguez’s five career starts against them.

Paul Janish walked in the third and scored on the latest homer by Adam Jones. Jones hit No. 13 on a 94 mph fastball on a 1-0 pitch. It was his fourth homer in his last four games and eighth in his past 14 games.

An inning later, second baseman Dustin Pedroia dropped a throw at second base on a certain double-play ball and Jonathan Schoop reached on the fielder’s choice. A few batters later, he scored on Jones’ double to left on a 3-0 pitch for a 3-0 lead

In the fifth, Manny Machado doubled and scored on a Chris Davis single. Davis later came around on Schoop’s double to left for the 5-0 edge. The Orioles had nine hits and a 5-0 lead in the first five innings, despite going 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

The Orioles are 52-33 (.612) against the Red Sox since the 2012 season and are 27-17 (.614) at Fenway Park in that span. Now the Orioles return home to start a homestand Friday night against the Toronto Blue Jay at Camden Yards.

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