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Wilson picks right time for stellar performance

Young righty blanks Red Sox for eight as O's grab AL East lead
MLB.com

BOSTON -- Not only did right-hander Tyler Wilson earn the win in a 5-0 victory over the Red Sox to give the Orioles sole possession of first place in the American League East, but he also felt fortunate to have delivered the best start of his career.

The 26-year-old completed eight scoreless innings Thursday night at Fenway Park, allowing just three hits and one walk with six strikeouts, setting career highs in both innings and strikeouts against an intimidating Boston lineup.

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BOSTON -- Not only did right-hander Tyler Wilson earn the win in a 5-0 victory over the Red Sox to give the Orioles sole possession of first place in the American League East, but he also felt fortunate to have delivered the best start of his career.

The 26-year-old completed eight scoreless innings Thursday night at Fenway Park, allowing just three hits and one walk with six strikeouts, setting career highs in both innings and strikeouts against an intimidating Boston lineup.

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"I felt good out there, and it's a byproduct of having guys who are all pulling on the same side of the rope out there," he said. "Everybody's playing hard no matter what the situation. To come back from the game [Wednesday] night -- we had a chance to win that game after going down early. That's the identity, the way that we fight every time out there."

Wilson flirted with a one-hitter deep into the game by retiring 10 straight batters before giving up a double to David Ortiz in the seventh. Until then, the only hit he'd given up was to the No. 9 hitter, Sandy Leon, in the third.

The righty is the first O's starter to toss at least eight scoreless innings at Fenway since Mike Boddicker in 1985. He's also the first O's starter to toss at least eight scoreless vs. Boston since Bud Norris in 2014 at Camden Yards.

"It's a great team win for us, to be able to come in here in Fenway and take two of three from these guys and an offense like that," Wilson said. "Boston's a great team and they're going to be somebody that we have to fight all the way to the wire. That's what makes this division great."

Video: BAL@BOS: Rickard makes a nice snag in right field

The starter received an immense amount of defensive support, particularly Joey Rickard, who robbed a number of hits that likely would've altered the final score.

Adam Jones had a big night of his own, sparking Baltimore's offense on a two-run homer over the Green Monster and out of the ballpark in the third. He added an RBI double in the following frame, connecting both times on 94-mph fastballs dealt by Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez.

Even though Jones went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and is batting .344 against Boston this season, the center fielder focused the spotlight on Wilson.

"I want to give a round of applause to Tyler Wilson," Jones said. "To stifle a lineup like this, he did a really good job throwing strike one. I think today's about him, I don't care about myself. He went out there and in a rubber match of this game, a big series win and threw eight strong innings."

Video: BAL@BOS: Jones hammers a two-run dinger in the 3rd

Wilson received praise from just about everyone, including manager Buck Showalter, who said he took the starter out after eight innings and handed the ball to reliever Brad Brach due to a range of factors. One of them was Wilson's pitch count of 100, the most he's thrown in the Major Leagues.

"We're trying to develop young pitchers here, too," Showalter said. "We've got four or five guys on our pitching staff with less than a year's experience in the big leagues. You try as often as you can to leave on a good note."

Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston.

Baltimore Orioles, Adam Jones, Tyler Wilson