John Lackey pitched an impressive complete game allowing but two hits in a 3-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Lackey struck out eight and allowed two walks while going 6.1 without allowing a hit. Lackey notched his 10th win while Baltimore starter, Chris Tillman, saw his record lowered to 16-7 despite an excellent effort.
The victory assured a subdued Red Sox a spot in the playoffs, their first visit since 2009.
The Sox gathered in all the runs they would need in a three run second. Jarrod Saltalamacchia opened the frame with a double, after a Will Middlebrooks strike out, Stephen Drew launched an opposite field home run that gave the Sox all they needed for the evening. But one more run was to come.
Tillman recovered after a rocky first three innings and settled into an impressive routine. Tillman finished with seven innings that were dotted with eight strikeouts.
The story of the game was Lackey. The O’s did little until Adam Jones ended the no hitter with a no doubter to left field. That was it for the O’s for the evening.
In the 8th J.J. Hardy singled to right for the only other O’s hit.
In the ninth Lackey retired the O’s without incident to put the seal of the fans and teammates approval on his 115 pitch effort.
The Toronto Blue Jays now come to Fenway to finish off the home season. The Jays will bring Esmil Rogers (5-7, 4.47) to the mound against Jon Lester (14-8, 3.75). A win tonight or a Tampa Bay loss gets the Sox the division.