Tillman threw a wild pitch to Gonzalez, and Crawford scored to cut the Orioles’ lead to 3-2. Gonzalez then lofted a sacrifice fly to center, which allowed Pedroia to tag up from third and safely slide home, beating Jones’s throw from center.
“He’s going to leave it on the field every single night,’’ Valentine said of Pedroia. “Again, he’s the competitor that makes the team go. He never stops. He hits all pitches, makes all plays.’’
Buchholz held the Orioles scoreless over his last six frames, allowing two hits and two walks while recording six of his seven strikeouts, including three on nine pitches in the shutdown sixth.
“Gosh, that sixth inning, he was like a man possessed,’’ Valentine said. “He was a great pitcher and a great competitor tonight.’’
Alfredo Aceves entered in the ninth and clinched his 24th save of the season by striking out the side. It was not a bad way to make a positive impression on the brass.
“They’ve got busy lives, just like we do,’’ Buchholz said. “I’m sure they could’ve been somewhere else, but them being here showed us that they’re behind us and supporting us and that’s what everybody likes to hear.’’
Michael Vega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.