Orioles win 6-5, take season series from Red Sox
''I'd trade places with `em,'' Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said, ''and have lost the series.''
Saturday night's 6-5 win makes it 10 victories for the Orioles and eight for the Red Sox with one to go - the regular season finale on Sunday.
After that, Boston will start planning for the playoffs, and Baltimore will start planning for next season.
That said, there is one more standings task left for the Orioles. They are tied with the New York Yankees going into the final day, a race that means so much to Showalter that he wasn't about to feel all fuzzy when told that Andy Pettitte had pitched a complete game victory Saturday night in his final Yankees start.
''That's not good,'' Showalter said. ''I wish he hadn't. I'd like to finish ahead of them.''
Steve Pearce had the go-ahead hit in the eighth inning Saturday night. His drive to the left field corner - his second double of the game - came off Franklin Morales and brought home two runs. Morales had replaced Junichi Tazawa (5-4), who gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning.
Kevin Gausman (3-5) pitched 1 1-3 innings to get the win, and Jim Johnson pitched the ninth for his 49th save.
Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen allowed three runs and nine hits over 5 1-3 innings and ended up with his sixth consecutive no-decision.
Boston starter Jon Lester gave up four runs and nine hits over five innings. He had gone nine starts without allowing a home run, but that streak was broken by Brian Roberts' solo drive to lead off the third.
The Red Sox clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason when Oakland beat Seattle, a game that ended just minutes after Boston-Baltimore was underway.
Boston will open its division series at Fenway Park on Friday against the winner of the wild-card playoff - either Cleveland, Tampa Bay or Texas.
Notes: The rest of the AL East is 21-36 against the Red Sox. ... Showalter had a thin bench because of injuries to OF Michael Morse and INF Jonathan Schoop. Morse has possible ligament damage in his left wrist and will see a specialist to determine whether he needs surgery, and Schoop was examined after showing symptoms of a back injury. Showalter said Schoop will play in Sunday's season finale.
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