Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/28/12
BALTIMORE -- Ryan Flaherty hit a first-inning grand slam moments after Chris Davis got a two-run homer, and starter Chris Tillman threw eight solid innings as the Baltimore Orioles rolled to a 9-1 victory over the Red Sox Friday night. The win helped the Orioles remain in charge of their playoff destiny. Victories in three of their last five games will guarantee Baltimore (90-67) its first postseason berth since 1997 when the Orioles won the American League East. Flaherty finished the night 2-for-4 with a career-high five RBI. Davis added two RBI, and Manny Machado went 2-for-4 with two RBI as the Orioles banged out 12 hits. Tillman (9-2) won his fourth straight decision in one of his best efforts this season. He gave up a bunt single in the first to leadoff batter Scott Podsednik but nothing else. The right-hander struck out four and walked two in his eight innings and retired the last 14 batters he faced. The Red Sox (69-88) manufactured a run in the top of the first for a quick 1-0 lead. Scott Podsednik led off with a bunt just past the mound. Second baseman Flaherty tried to make a bare-hand play on the ball, but threw it away. Podsednik went to second on the throwing error, moved to third on Pedro Ciriaco's sacrifice bunt and scored when Dustin Pedroia sent a sacrifice fly to center. The Red Sox had the lead after just three batters but couldn't do anything else. The Orioles very answered quickly with six runs off Aaron Cook (4-11) in the bottom of the first. Nate McLouth led off with a single and scored when Chris Davis lined a one-out homer to right-center for a 2-1 lead. Jim Thome started the rest of the rally with a two-out single to left, and Mark Reynolds walked. Machado singled to left, but Thome was held at third, loading the bases. Flaherty then crushed a 2-1 pitch into the seats in right-center to give Baltimore an early 6-1 lead. Cook lasted just one inning plus two batters and threw 42 pitches -- only 18 of which were strikes. He gave up six runs on five hits, including the two homers in the six-run first inning. Alfredo Aceves took over in the second and pitched well until running into trouble in the fifth. Manny Machado and Reynolds hit back-to-back RBI doubles followed by a Taylor Teagarden RBI single for a 9-1 Baltimore lead. Notes: Orioles catcher Matt Wieters was not at the ballpark Friday following the birth of his son, Maverick Luther, at 5:11 a.m. He tipped the scales at eight pounds, two ounces and the baby and mother, Maria, are reportedly doing just fine. ... Jason Hammel still continues to try to come back from the knee problems that have dogged him throughout the second half of the season. He tossed a three-inning simulated game at Oriole Park Friday and there's the possibility the right-hander could throw another one Monday or Tuesday down in Sarasota, Fla. ... The Red Sox have set a new club record this year with 56 players appearing in a game so far. That broke the previous mark of 55 from 1996. ... Podsednik's first-inning bunt single stretched his hitting streak to six games, and he's gotten hits in his last seven starts.
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