BOSTON — Chris Tillman isn't concerned about his steadily increasing win total or about further establishing himself as the ace of the Orioles staff.
The right-hander knew the victory was more important to his team.
Tillman pitched seven strong innings to earn his 15th win of the season, and Baltimore beat the Red Sox 3-2 Thursday night to avoid a three-game sweep. The victory helped the Orioles pull within three games of Oakland in the race for the second AL wild-card spot.
"I'm glad we got a 'W' for him," manager Buck Showalter said. "We've got 30 games left. September's an eternity. It'll edge by, and that will be good for us 'cause we're trying to catch up."
The Red Sox stayed two games ahead of Tampa Bay in the AL East, with Baltimore another four games back of the Rays.
Manny Machado had two hits for the Orioles, including a two-run double that gave them the lead for good in the third inning. Danny Valencia had two doubles and Adam Jones also had a pair of hits for Baltimore, which opens a three-game series with the Yankees in New York today.
Jim Johnson pitched the ninth for his AL-leading 41st save.
"We're going to New York with an upbeat clubhouse," said Tillman, who improved to 6-2 when starting after an Orioles loss. "It's a starting pitcher's goal for the guys to trust you every time we go out there."
Tillman had never won more than nine games in a season.