BALTIMORE — Perhaps there weren’t as many Boston Red Sox fans at Camden Yards as usual Friday. Or perhaps the Baltimore Orioles just shut them up early.
Either way, the park formerly referred to as “Fenway South” whenever Boston came to town certainly didn’t sound like it Friday. A crowd of 39,063 watched Chris Tillman baffle Boston’s bats and Adam Jones single-handedly outscore the Red Sox in a 6-0 Baltimore win.
Jones clobbered two nearly identical home runs off Boston starter John Lackey, a two-run shot in the first and a solo shot in the fifth, to give him 22 this season. The righty drove both balls out to the opposite field, just over the tall out-of-town scoreboard down the right field line.
He really only needed to hit the first one.
Save for a bout of wildness in the first inning, Tillman (13-3) dominated, silencing the majors’ top-scoring offense through seven scoreless innings.
With a 22-pitch first and a career-high-tying eight strikeouts, Tillman accumulated pitches quickly, so Orioles Manager Buck Showalter had to pull him after seven innings of two-hit ball and 115 pitches. Fatigue hadn’t yet dulled his sparkling stuff: Tillman retired 19 of the last 21 batters he faced.
The all-star earned his 13th win, one of only five pitchers in the majors to reach that number so far this season.
“I feel good going out there. I have command of all my pitches, and I think anytime you can do that, it gives [Matt] Wieters more options of what he’s going to call,” Tillman said. “I think that helps the outcome of the game.”
It wasn’t just Adam Jones backing Tillman. Baltimore battered Lackey (7-8) for nine hits and five runs in 61 / 3 innings. Two of those hits came from Manny Machado, who singled in the third and then smacked his ninth homer of the season in the seventh to drive Lackey from the game. J.J. Hardy added a homer in the eighth, his 18th of the year.
“Lackey’s tough. He’s having a big year. He didn’t make many mistakes, but we had some things fall our way that normally wouldn’t against him, and I think we took advantage of it,” Showalter said. “It creates a good atmosphere to work in when Chris is getting the team on and off the field.”
The victory moved the Orioles (58-46) within 31 / 2 games of first in the AL East, while knocking Boston (61-43) from that spot. The Red Sox had been in first since May 27.