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Orioles Stay Hot, Beat Sox

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BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 21: Jim Johnson #43 of the Baltimore Orioles and Matt Wieters #32 of the Baltimore Orioles celebrate a win against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on September 21, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 21: Jim Johnson #43 of the Baltimore Orioles and Matt Wieters #32 of the Baltimore Orioles celebrate a win against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on September 21, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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By HOWARD ULMAN
AP Sports Writer

BOSTON (AP) _ Matt Wieters drove in three runs, Miguel Gonzalez
pitched 6 1-3 solid innings and the Baltimore Orioles remained one
game behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East with a
4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.

The Yankees beat Oakland 2-1 in 10 innings. The Orioles broke a
tie with the Athletics for the top wild-card spot. All three teams
have 12 games remaining.

Jon Lester (9-13) lost for the first time in his 21 career
starts against the Orioles. He had been 14-0, the longest winning
streak against the Orioles franchise for a pitcher at the start of
his career since at least 1901. It had been the longest current
winning streak by an active pitcher against any team. But he’s 0-1
in his last four starts against them, all Orioles victories.

Gonzalez (7-4) allowed two runs on seven hits with three
strikeouts and one walk as the Orioles improved to 6-1 this season
at Fenway Park. They lead the AL with 44 wins on the road.

Jim Johnson pitched the ninth for his club-record 46th save, one
more than the previous record Randy Myers set in 1997.

The score was tied 2-2 after five innings before the Orioles
went ahead with two runs in the sixth.

Adam Jones walked with one out and scored on a double by
Wieters. A wild pitch by Lester sent Wieters to third and Mark
Reynolds drove him in with a single. Reynolds went 2 for 4 and is
15 for 34 in 10 games against Boston this year.

Baltimore second baseman Robert Andino left the game in the
ninth after being hit in the left ear flap by a fastball from Mark
Melancon.

The Red Sox had taken a 1-0 lead in the third on doubles by
Daniel Nava and Pedro Ciriaco. Then Wieters got his first big hit
of the night in the fourth with a two-run single with no outs. It
drove in J.J. Hardy, who had singled, and Jones, who had doubled.

Boston tied it in the fifth when Gonzalez retired the first two
batters then allowed consecutive singles by Ciriaco, Scott
Podsednik and Dustin Pedroia, who snapped an 0 for 18 slump.

The game was the start of the Red Sox’s final homestand of their
first losing season since 1997. But they could have an impact on
the postseason race with two home games each against Baltimore and
Tampa Bay before they finish with three games at Baltimore and
three at New York.

NOTES: The Orioles activated DH Jim Thome and LHP Troy Patton
from the 15-day disabled list. … The Red Sox recalled 3B Danny
Valencia and RHPs Pedro Beato and Zach Stewart from Triple-A
Pawtucket. … Former pro wrestler George “The Animal” Steele,
who wrestled at Fenway Park on June 28, 1969, threw out one of the
ceremonial first pitches. Known for biting the turnbuckle when he
wrestled, he appeared to bite the ball before throwing. The other
ceremonial pitch was thrown by Jim Roosevelt Jr., grandson of
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who gave his final campaign
speech at Fenway on Nov. 4, 1944. … Randy Wolf (2-0) is scheduled
to pitch for the Orioles against Aaron Cook (4-10) on Saturday in
the second game of the three-game series.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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