When your team leads MLB with 5.14 runs per game and your starter allows 2 runs on 5 hits, you expect to win the game, but the Boston Bashers became offensively bashful against Oriole starter Chris Tillman, who has been on a roll winning 9 of 13 games, including his last four and the Sox were shutout 2-0.
Tillman zeroed-out the Red Sox with just 3 hits in 6 innings and two Orioles’ relievers, submariner Darren O’Day and Tommy Hunter, continued the shutout, until closer Jim Johnson hung the final zero on the Camden Yards scoreboard for his 24thsave.
The win places Baltimore just 1 ½ games behind the AL East leading Red Sox.
Entering the game Dempster and Tillman were tied for the AL lead in HRs surrended at 15, but Chris Davis smashed his league-leading 22nd HR, to left-center field in the bottom of the second to put Dempster into the lead again.
Although Tillman allowed at least one baserunner in each of the first 4 innings, including a season-high four walks, he did not surrender a run and, after he set down Ortiz, Carp, and Nava in order in the 6,th he let the pen finish off the Boston blanking with three no-hit innings.
“Early, I struggled with command a little bit with all my pitches,” Tillman said. “I was able to make an adjustment midgame. Kind of went with [catcher Matt] Wieters from there and started attacking the zone a little.”
The veteran Dempster was philosophical about his loss:
“I feel good about my outing, for sure. I felt like I pitched well; the other guy just pitched better than me,” Dempster said. “The guy just pitched his tail off over there. Sometimes you just get outpitched and there’s really nothing you can do about it. We don’t get shut out very often, it’s kind of a rarity. We’ll bounce back (today).”
- Dustin Pedroia had reached safely in 22 straight games, but that streak ended with his 0-4 game tonight.
- Overall, Pedroia has reached safely in 63 games this season, the most in the Majors.
- The Orioles had given up the most home runs in the Majors entering the game (95).
- The Sox and the Orioles have each won 14 series this season, tied with the Cardinals for the MLB lead.
- The Red Sox have won their last four series and have done no worse than a split in their last seven sets (five wins and two splits).
With the Orioles leading this 4-game series 2-0, the Sox will send Lackey (3-5) to face Garcia (3-3) in a 4:05 start at Camden Yards tomorrow. Lester (6-3) will oppose Gonzalez (4-2) in the series finale on Sunday.