The sides couldn't be more flipped this year.
On the one-year anniversary of Boston falling out of playoff contention thanks to Robert Andino and company, the playoff-chasing Orioles hammered Boston, 9-1. They outhit them 12-1. The Red Sox, for once, were the team that looked like it was counting down the days.
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At least one New Englander showed up. Ryan Flaherty, the Maine native who grew up a Red Sox fan, had a career night.
“Growing up up there, it’s cool. My friends can watch it on their network,” Flaherty said. “So it makes it even better to beat them, for sure.”
He hit his first grand slam in a six-run first against veteran journeyman Aaron Cook. Flaherty came back in the fifth with a RBI double in a three-run inning. The rookie had five RBIs Friday; 14 RBIs in his first 72 games this season.
Right-hander Chris Tillman (9-2) also excelled. He allowed just one hit, a bunt to lead off the game by Scott Podsednik. Tillman lasted eight innings and allowed one unearned run. It was his fourth quality start in his last five; the other was shortened because of injury.
Tillman could have gone nine – he threw just 100 pitches – but Orioles manager Buck Showalter decided against that.
“He was good, really good,” Showalter said. “It was one of those games we were confident he could finish, but what's best for him is best for us.”