BOSTON — The Orioles won't meet the Boston Red Sox again until mid-August, with two months worth of games still to determine whether they'll enter that series tied for first place, as they did this time.
The visitors Thursday at Fenway Park certainly left an impression they hope lasts until then.
In a 5-1 win over the Red Sox, the Orioles (38-27) rode eight shutout innings from Tyler Wilson and a big day at the plate from center fielder Adam Jones to first place in the American League East.
No one ascribed too much meaning to a series win in June with 97 games left on the schedule, but it's clear there was satisfaction at what happened.
"It's a given they're going to be there," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "It's a given that the other three teams are going to be there. We're just focused on ourselves. I know how everybody tries to find out about things before they happen. We're trying to stay in the moment of every game. It's an opportunity to get one game closer to getting a chance to play late in the year."
Said Jones: "You look at their lineup, you look at their numbers — they're doing damage across the board. For us to come in here and get a big series win, especially with how they've been the last six to eight weeks, it's a true testament of how we've been playing."
Jones gave the Orioles an early lead with a two-run home run in the third inning, and added a third RBI on a fourth-inning double. First baseman Chris Davis and second baseman Jonathan Schoop had RBI hits of their own to provide the Orioles with offense on the evening.
Shortstop Manny Machado had three hits, including a double, and scored a run. Wilson improved to 3-5 with a 4.16 ERA. Brad Brach pitched the ninth, allowing a home run to David Ortiz for Boston's only run.
Jones owns June: When the calendar turned to June, Jones wasn't having the best of seasons, batting .234/.292/.360 with five home runs. June has gone much better for him. With a home run and two more hits Thursday, Jones' June average climbed to .273, and the home run was his eighth of the month. Jones is batting .245 on the season.
Rick rolls: Rookie Joey Rickard got another start in the spacious confines of Fenway Park's right field, and made the most of it. Rickard had a pair of hits, a walk, and a stolen base on top of some impressive defense. In the fifth inning, he dove to rob third baseman Travis Shaw of extra bases on a ball down the right field line. He did the same to Shaw in the right-center gap in the third inning.
Good night for the reserves: Rickard wasn't the only Orioles reserve to show well for himself. Third baseman Paul Janish walked, singled, and scored while playing his standard superb defense. Left fielder Nolan Reimold had a hit as well.
Rodriguez struggles: Since returning from a knee injury that delayed the start of his season, Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez hasn't been the standout whom the Orioles rued trading that he was a season ago.
Rodriguez allowed five runs on eight hits and was chased with one out in the fifth inning. He struck out five, but had another difficult outcome. His ERA is now 6.97 on the season.