O's down Red Sox, pull even with Yanks in AL East

9:57 PM, Sep 29, 2012   |    comments
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Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Entering the final day of September, the Baltimore Orioles will be holding a share of first place in the American League East.

Rookie Manny Machado smacked a tie-breaking solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning as the surprising Orioles moved into a tie for the division lead with a 4-3 decision over the Boston Red Sox Saturday at Camden Yards.

Machado sent a 1-1 pitch from Red Sox starter Felix Doubront into the left- field seats to open Baltimore's half of the seventh to snap a 3-3 deadlock. After relievers Brian Matusz and Darren O'Day combined to retire the side in order in the eighth, Jim Johnson tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to notch his MLB-best 49th save.

Machado added an RBI single earlier in the night as part of a 2-for-3 performance at the plate, while Chris Davis went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer as the Orioles -- who last reached the postseason in 1997 -- reduced their magic number for a playoff spot to two and pulled even with the New York Yankees for the AL East's top spot. New York dropped a 3-2 verdict to Toronto on Saturday.

Baltimore presently holds a one-game edge on Oakland for the AL's No. 1 wild card berth and is 3 1/2 games up on the Los Angeles Angels in the standings.

Tommy Hunter (7-8) earned the win with two scoreless innings in relief of starter Steve Johnson.

Doubront (11-10) struck out 10 batters in seven innings of work, but was saddled with the loss after surrendering four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a two-run homer for Boston, which has now dropped eight of its last nine contests and is one defeat away from its first 90-loss campaign since 1966.

 

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