The Baltimore Orioles’ surprising run toward their first playoff appearance since 1997 continued Friday with another unlikely star.
Pitcher Chris Tillman, who started the season at triple-A Norfolk and owned a career 7.15 earned-run average before this season, limited the Boston Red Sox to one hit through eight innings as the Orioles won, 9-1.
Baltimore retained its three-game lead in the American League wild-card race with five to play and remained one game back of the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East.
The Angels defeated Texas to stay three games behind Baltimore and two behind Oakland for the AL’s second wild card. The Athletics beat Seattle, 8-2.
Tillman (9-2) surrendered a leadoff bunt single to Boston’s Scott Podsednik, then gave up only two walks after that, retiring the final 14 Red Sox he faced as the Orioles won their 90th game a season after going 69-93.
“I feel like I’m confident in my delivery, and when you have confidence in that, things will play out well for you,” Tillman said afterward. “I’ve just got to take it pitch-by-pitch and not get too worried about the next inning or the next game.”
The Yankees stayed ahead of Baltimore by beating Toronto, 11-4, with the help of a three-run home run by former Dodger Russell Martin and a two-run shot by Eric Chavez.
Meanwhile, the Chicago White Sox cut the Detroit Tigers’ AL Central lead to one game by ending Tampa Bay’s eight-game winning streak, 3-1, as Alex Rios had three hits, including a homer, and scored twice. The Rays dropped three games behind Oakland.
Detroit lost to Minnesota, 4-2, with Ryan Doumit driving in all the Twins’ runs.
In his bid to post the first Triple Crown season since 1967, the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera had two hits to extend his AL batting lead to five points, .327 to .322, over Minnesota’s Joe Mauer. Cabrera leads Texas’ Josh Hamilton by eight runs batted in but is one behind Hamilton’s AL-leading 43 homers. Cabrera and Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion have 42.
In dramatic fashion, the Cincinnati Reds tied the Washington Nationals for best record in the National League (95-62) as right-hander Homer Bailey threw baseball’s seventh no-hitter this season in a 1-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Nationals fell to St. Louis, 12-2, with Adam Wainwright pitching six solid innings. The Cardinals lead the Dodgers by three games for the NL’s second wild-card berth, and their magic number for clinching is three.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.