Clay Buchholz pitched his longest outing since returning from injury on Friday night by logging seven innings and improving his record to 12-1.
The Red Sox gave him plenty of run support by taking a quick 5-0 lead before the 29-year-old faced the first Orioles batter. After giving up two runs in the third inning, Buchholz settled down and allowed only one more run over the next four innings to help the Sox earn a 12-3 victory.
Buchholz will finish the season with a 1.744 ERA, which is the second-lowest for a Red Sox pitcher (minimum 100 IP) since World War I (Pedro Martinez, 1.722 ERA in 2000).
The team’s magic number for clinching the top seed in the AL playoffs is down to one.