Baltimore at Boston

W: M. Gonzalez (7-4) L: J. Lester (9-13)
S: J. Johnson (46)
HR: BAL - None   BOS - None

Wieters' three RBI put O's over Red Sox wire reports

BOSTON -- The Baltimore Orioles' outstanding bullpen is a big reason they're vying for the AL East lead. And Jim Johnson is the biggest reason for the success of that bullpen.

Johnson set a franchise record with his major league-leading 46th save and the Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox 4-2 on Friday night to remain one game behind the first-place New York Yankees.

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The record means "that we're winning and we're having a good season," he said. "That's all it really means right now."

Baltimore closers hadn't had much of a shot at the record of 45 set by Randy Myers in 1997, the last time the Orioles finished the season with a winning record. They had no more than 69 wins in any of the last four years. But now they're 86-64 with 12 games left.

"When you talk about the history of the Orioles, you've got everybody's attention. That's pretty long and deep," manager Buck Showalter said of Johnson's record, but "Jimmy's got other goals in mind."

Those goals are winning playoff games and the Orioles are in good shape to have a chance. They can reach the postseason by winning the division or with a wild-card berth. They lead Oakland by one game for the first AL wild-card spot after the Athletics lost to the New York Yankees 2-1 in 10 innings.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, are 68-84 and assured of their first losing season since 1997.

"We were even seeing for the first time ... Baltimore fans in Boston," Johnson said. "I've never seen that before, so it's pretty cool how things are changing."

Matt Wieters drove in three runs and was behind the plate for Johnson's record-setting save.

"Both are nice," he said. "It took me a second to click in. I think when I was walking to the mound I realized he just broke the Orioles save record so that's pretty cool to get to catch that one."

Jon Lester (9-13) lost for the first time in his 21 career starts against the Orioles. He had been 14-0, the longest winning streak against the Orioles franchise for a pitcher at the start of his career since at least 1901. It had been the longest current winning streak by an active pitcher against any team. But he's 0-1 in his last four starts against them, all Orioles victories.

"It was bound to happen sometime," Lester said. "They're playing good this year. They've always had a good offense. They're just putting everything else together."

Miguel Gonzalez (7-4) allowed two runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and one walk in 6 1/3 innings as the Orioles improved to 6-1 this season at Fenway Park. They lead the AL with 44 wins on the road.

"They've got some home run hitters in the middle of the lineup and their bullpen's been `shut down.' `' Boston manager Bobby Valentine said.

The score was tied 2-2 after five innings before the Orioles went ahead with two runs in the sixth.

Adam Jones walked with one out and scored on a double by Wieters. A wild pitch by Lester sent Wieters to third and Mark Reynolds drove him in with a single. Reynolds went 2 for 4 and is 15 for 34 in 10 games against Boston this year.

"Every time they scored we had an answer, it seemed like," Showalter said, "and Matt was in the middle of that."

Baltimore second baseman Robert Andino left the game in the ninth after being hit in the left ear flap by a fastball from Mark Melancon. He was scheduled to have a CAT scan.

The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the third on doubles by Daniel Nava and Pedro Ciriaco. Then Wieters got his first big hit of the night in the fourth with a two-run single with no outs. It drove in J.J. Hardy, who had singled, and Jones, who had doubled.

"He's done a good job in the past against me, getting the barrel of the bat on those cutters down and in," Lester said of Wieters.

Boston tied it in the fifth when Gonzalez retired the first two batters then allowed consecutive singles by Ciriaco, Scott Podsednik and Dustin Pedroia, who snapped an 0 for 18 slump.

The game was the start of the Red Sox's final homestand of a disappointing season. But they could have an impact on the postseason race with two home games each against Baltimore and Tampa Bay before they finish with three games at Baltimore and three at New York.


  • The Orioles activated DH Jim Thome and LHP Troy Patton from the 15-day disabled list.
  • The Red Sox recalled 3B Danny Valencia and RHPs Pedro Beato and Zach Stewart from Triple-A Pawtucket.
  • Former pro wrestler George "The Animal" Steele, who wrestled at Fenway Park on June 28, 1969, threw out one of the ceremonial first pitches. Known for biting the turnbuckle when he wrestled, he appeared to bite the ball before throwing. The other ceremonial pitch was thrown by Jim Roosevelt Jr., grandson of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who gave his final campaign speech at Fenway on Nov. 4, 1944.
  • Randy Wolf (2-0) is scheduled to pitch for the Orioles against Aaron Cook (4-10) on Saturday in the second game of the three-game series.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Matt Wieters goes 2 for 4 with three RBI as the O's defeat the Red Sox to stay one game back of the Yankees in the AL East. (Getty Images)
Matt Wieters goes 2 for 4 with three RBI as the O's defeat the Red Sox to stay one game back of the Yankees in the AL East. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game

P. Ciriaco
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

M. Wieters
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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February 24, 2017
2017 AL East Preview: Baltimore Orioles (2:25)
Baltimore Orioles
Nate McLouth, LF5010013 .247
J.J. Hardy, SS5110023 .236
Adam Jones, CF3220110 .288
Matt Wieters, C4123001 .250
Mark Reynolds, 1B4021011 .231
Lew Ford, DH3000102 .164
Manny Machado, 3B4000002 .257
Endy Chavez, RF4000000 .204
Robert Andino, 2B2020100 .213
    Omar Quintanilla, PR-2B0000000 .244
2B - Adam Jones (36, Lester), Matt Wieters (24, Lester)
RBI - Matt Wieters 3 (82), Mark Reynolds (66)
Team LOB - 7
Baltimore Orioles
Miguel Gonzalez (W,7-4) 6.1722130 3.52
Darren O'Day (H,11) 1.2000000 2.37
Jim Johnson (S,46) 1100010 2.69
Pitches-Strikes - Miguel Gonzalez 101-72, Darren O'Day 15-11, Jim Johnson 20-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Miguel Gonzalez 5-11, Darren O'Day 2-3, Jim Johnson 1-1
Batters Faced - Miguel Gonzalez 27, Darren O'Day 5, Jim Johnson 4
Boston Red Sox
Pedro Ciriaco, 3B4121001 .297
Scott Podsednik, CF4020002 .300
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4011002 .286
Cody Ross, RF4000013 .272
Ryan Lavarnway, C4000000 .171
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, DH3000100 .227
James Loney, 1B4000011 .252
Daniel Nava, LF4120010 .243
Jose Iglesias, SS3010001 .143
   a- Mauro Gomez, PH1000011 .305
a-struck out for Iglesias in the 9th
2B - Pedro Ciriaco (13, M. Gonzalez), Daniel Nava (19, M. Gonzalez)
RBI - Pedro Ciriaco (19), Dustin Pedroia (63)
2-OUT RBI - Dustin Pedroia (24)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Cody Ross 1
DP - Ross-Pedroia-Loney, Lester-Iglesias-Loney, Iglesias-Loney
Boston Red Sox
Jon Lester (L,9-13) 7844330 4.96
Scott Atchison 1100010 1.64
Mark Melancon 1100010 6.80
HBP - Andino (by Mark Melancon)
WP - Jon Lester (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 112-70, Scott Atchison 18-13, Mark Melancon 19-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 12-3, Mark Melancon 2-0
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 29, Scott Atchison 4, Mark Melancon 5
Game Information
Attendance - 37731
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 60
Umpires - Home - Mark Wegner, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Al Porter, Third Base - Mike Winters