Red Sox clinch playoff berth, beat Orioles 3-1

Winning the series wasn’t enough for Adam Jones.

He obviously wanted the sweep.

”Who cares about this getting two out of three? At this point

in time, winning the series means nothing. We need wins,” Jones

said following the Baltimore Orioles’ 3-1 loss to the Boston Red

Sox on Thursday night. ”`Good job getting the series’ if this was

June, but it’s September. We need wins.”

Baltimore beat first-place Boston in the first two games of the

series, running its winning streak to three and bolstering its

chances of earning one of the two available wild-card spots.

Then the Orioles ran into John Lackey.

The right-hander silenced Baltimore’s bats, carrying a no-hitter

into the seventh inning before finishing off his 16th complete game

as the Red Sox clinched their first postseason berth since

2009.

”This team, we’re always a bloop and a blast away. We just

didn’t get the bloop and a blast. Move onto Tampa,” said Jones,

who broke up the no-hit bid with his 32nd home run of the season

with one out in the seventh. ”We’ve got four games down there that

are important. It’s a loss. Move on.”

The Orioles dropped two games back in the wild-card race after

Texas beat Tampa Bay. The Rangers and Rays are tied for the top two

spots.

”Our guys are looking forward to the opportunity that they have

earned,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said of the stretch run,

which includes a four-game series at Tampa Bay starting Friday.

Chris Tillman (16-7) overcame a shaky start to pitch seven

innings for the Orioles. The right-hander, who entered the game

with a 2.15 ERA against Boston, the lowest among active pitchers

with at least 50 innings, allowed three runs, seven hits and two

walks with eight strikeouts.

”That’s the way these games go at the end of the season,”

Tillman said. ”I think you’ve got to be on top of it from the

get-go all the way through. I made some mistakes and they made me

pay.”

Coming off a last-place finish and a 69-93 record – their most

losses since 1965 – the Red Sox have rebounded under first-year

manager John Farrell and ensured at least a wild-card berth in the

postseason. Following Tampa Bay’s loss, Boston’s magic number

dropped to one for clinching the AL East.

The Red Sox scored all their runs in the second on Stephen

Drew’s two-run homer and Dustin Pedroia’s RBI single.

After Jones’ homer, Lackey (10-12) allowed just a one-out single

to J.J. Hardy in the eighth. He struck out eight and walked

two.

”The story was Lackey,” Showalter said. ”It’s one of those

tip-your-hat nights.”

NOTES: Pedroia extended his hitting streak to nine games. …

Baltimore’s Jason Hammel (7-8) will face Tampa Bay’s David Price

(8-8) on Friday. … The Red Sox send Jon Lester (14-8) to the

mound against Esmil Rogers (5-7) in the opener of their last home

series of the regular season, three games against Toronto.