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Wade Miley pitches seven strong innings in Orioles' 7-5 win over Red Sox

After his last start in Houston, Orioles left-hander Wade Miley lamented another start stifled by deep counts that ended up being the difference between a pedestrian five-inning outing and seven strong innings.

Much like his previous outing, Miley battled with his pitch count early Thursday night. But unlike that time out, he found a way to be more economical as the night went on.

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Miley held the Boston Red Sox to one run over seven innings, scattering five hits, in the Orioles' 7-5 series-opening victory at Camden Yards. It was the Orioles' third win in four games after a season-high seven-game losing streak.

"They were pretty aggressive tonight and obviously the offense, we jumped on theme pretty early and then we kept applying pressure," Miley said.  "[It] makes it a little bit easier when you've got a little support like that. Then you can just kind of go in there and pound the zone and we were able to get outs."

After going into Thursday's start leading the majors with 5.29 walks per nine innings, he issued just one walk on the night while posting his second seven-inning outing in three starts.

"Definitely getting deeper in the game [is more important]," Miley said. "I'm not overly concerned about the walks. Obviously, I don't want to walk people. But at the same time, if I had walked seven guys tonight and got to the seventh inning, whatever. You know? You want to minimize them, but at the same time I was just trying to get as deep in the game as possible."

For the second straight night, the Orioles offense flexed its muscle, hitting four home runs, including solo homers by Adam Jones and Chris Davis for a second consecutive night. Mark Trumbo also hit a two-run homer in the first and Jonathan Schoop blasted a three-run shot in the sixth.

The Orioles (28-24) have scored the same number of runs the past two games (17) as they did over the course of their entire seven-game losing streak.

"Miley was good, huh? He walked one guy? Did they walk anybody? That's probably the least number of walked game we've had this year," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I thought the sixth and seventh innings were really big. We were trying to stay away from some people tonight, like you always are."

A nine-pitch first inning by Miley was foiled by a 30-pitch second. But after stranding runners at the corners that inning, Miley allowed just three base runners over his next five innings, keeping the ball on the ground to the tune of eight groundouts.

Miley was already at 72 pitches through his first four innings. But he then induced six straight groundouts for quick work in an 11-pitch fifth and a 13-pitch sixth, a result of starting hitters off with changeups, sliders and curveballs before getting them to roll over on fastballs later in at-bats.

Miley issued a four-pitch walk to Red Sox first baseman Sam Travis to open the seventh, but then drew quick outs from Josh Rutledge and Christian Vazquez before finishing his outing with a six-pitch strikeout of Jackie Bradley Jr., who swung through a slider.

Jones robs Betts: The ball was flying out of Camden Yards – as evidenced by the five homers hit on the night – but Orioles center fielder Adam Jones set the tone from the first batter of the game when he took away a home run from Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts in left-center field.

Betts launched a 3-1 fastball from Miley into the gap right in front of the Orioles bullpen, but Jones shuffled to the warning track and made a well-timed leaping catch right at the wall to take away a hit.

"Mookie Betts leading off the game, he hit a home run, but Jonesy made a great play out there," Miley said. "Who knows where this game's at right now if that ball's two feet farther. Who knows? Fortunately, it worked out for us." 

Machado ends hitless streak: Slumping third baseman Manny Machado snapped an 0-for-18 skid with a first-inning single off Red Sox starter and former Orioles farmhand Eduardo Rodriguez. Machado also had his first multihit effort in six games.

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Machado didn't have a hit since hitting a double Saturday in Houston. He was not only hitless, but struck out 10 times over his previous four games, seeing his season batting average drop 20 points to .205 entering Thursday's game.

But Machado had two singles against Rodriguez on Thursday, scoring both times on home runs — Trumbo's two-run blast in the first and Schoop's three-run shot in the sixth.

Bullpen falters in ninth: Showalter turned to left-hander Donnie Hart to put the game away against the left-handed-hitting Bradley with two outs in the ninth, but Bradley launched a three-run homer to center field to make it a 7-5 game.

Left-handers are hitting .321 against Hart this season.

Right-hander Mike Wright was one out away from his second straight scoreless outing since being called up Wednesday. But he allowed a run on Vazquez's two-out RBI single in the ninth.

Wright retired the first four batters he faced before allowing a single to Hanley Ramirez with one out in the ninth. He then yielded back-to-back two-out singles to Rutledge and Vazquez to make the score 7-2.

He had three strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings, including two in the ninth, but after throwing 43 pitches over two nights, he could be on his way back to Triple-A Norfolk to get a fresh reliever.

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