BOSTON - After three straight defeats, there have been two consecutive wins that may remind the Baltimore Orioles that 2013 may be just as good a year as 2012.
Thursday's win was by one run, the first of the season. The Orioles' 3-2 triumph over the Boston Red Sox before 27,704 at Fenway Park sent them off to Yankee Stadium in a wonderful mood.
Adam Jones drove in the winning run in the seventh inning, and the bullpen was absolutely outstanding.
"Any win is important early. It's just a matter of time before that one-run stuff, a matter of time. We've got the bullpen that can shut down any offense on any given night. We don't choose what kind of games we play," Jones said.
Jones has a hit in each of Baltimore's nine games, and has multi-hit games in six of them. He's batting .462 with 10 RBIs.
Chris Davis hit his sixth home run of the year, and it was nearly overlooked.
Brian Matusz, Pedro Strop, Darren O'Day and Jim Johnson combined to retire 11 of 13 Boston batters to secure the win.
Matusz (1-0) struck out the only two batters he faced to get the win. Johnson picked up his fourth save.
"I came in a little jacked up. Tough situation," Matusz said. "It was huge. It was a crucial situation in the game right there. They had a little momentum going their way and to be able to stop it right there, and obviously our offense came back and scored a run for us, it was a crucial part and it was a nice way to end it there."
Davis' home run with one out in the second gave Baltimore (5-4) a 1-0 lead.
Boston (5-4) scored two runs against Chris Tillman in the third. RBI singles by Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli made it 2-1.
In the fifth, the Orioles tied the score off Alfredo Aceves when Manny Machado singled with one out and scored on Jones' two out single.
Tillman pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and six hits, walking two and striking out five.
"A lot of our wins were one-run wins last year. But a win's a win. Blow them out, one run, it's the same to us," Tillman said.
In the seventh, Jones' RBI double scored Machado with the tie-breaking run, and the Orioles took a 3-2 lead. Clayton Mortensen (0-1) was the loser.
All winter long, fans kept calling for the team to add a big bat to the middle of the lineup. With Jones and Davis hitting, that may not be necessary.
"They kept everything in-house. It's made us get better. It's made CD better, myself and [Matt] Wieters better. We don't necessarily need the outside help. We've got the guys here," Jones said.
"We've got the roster. Now, we have the depth throughout the minor leagues so that if someone goes down in the major leagues, we've got some guys that can fill in with some big league experience."
Manager Buck Showalter was pleased that Baltimore has won five straight series at Fenway Park.
"I think it's just one more game closer to the total you know you're going to have to get to in order to roll the dice in October, so it's a long way over. Over 150 games," Showalter said. "But our guys should be proud of their effort the last two nights."
NOTES: Nick Markakis was the Orioles' designated hitter. It was just the fifth time in his career Markakis has been the DH. It didn't help. Markakis was 0-for-4, and Baltimore DH's are 1-for-30.
The Orioles travel to New York for a three-game series beginning Friday. Miguel Gonzalez (1-0, 2.84) faces C.C. Sabathia (1-1, 3.00). On Saturday afternoon, Jason Hammel (1-1, 4.97) is scheduled against Hiroki Kuroda (1-1. 6.75) and in the Orioles' return to ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, Wei-Yin Chen (0-1, 3.75) will pitch against Andy Pettitte (2-0, 1.20)