BALTIMORE -- Manny Machado started the bottom of the seventh inning with a homer that gave the Orioles a 4-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox Saturday and moved Baltimore into a first-place tie with the New York Yankees in the American League East.
Toronto beat the Yankees 3-2 earlier Saturday to give Baltimore a boost. Both the Orioles and Yankees now have a 91-67 record with four games remaining.
The Orioles and the Yankees also remained one game ahead of Oakland in the wild-card battle. The A's (90-68) rallied for a 7-4 victory over Seattle in 10 innings on Saturday afternoon. The Orioles' magic number to make the postseason dropped to two, and Baltimore can clinch Sunday if it wins and the Anaheim Angels lose.
Machado is a rookie who has played in 47 games this season and shown the ability to make big plays on offense and defense. The third baseman made a great play on a Cody Ross grounder near the bag and quickly started a 5-4-3 double play in the fourth.
The Orioles then needed Machado's help at the plate after Boston (69-89) rallied from an early three-run deficit to tie the game in the sixth. Machado started the seventh with a line drive off Felix Doubront (11-10) that made it into the second row of the left-field seats to give the Orioles a 4-3 lead.
Tommy Hunter (7-8) got the win with two innings of scoreless relief, taking care of the Red Sox in the sixth and seventh. Brian Matusz and Darren O'Day combined to shut down the Red Sox in the eighth, and Jim Johnson retired Boston in order in the ninth for his 49th save.
The Orioles took the lead when they manufactured a run in the bottom of the second. Boston starter Doubront hit Chris Davis with one out. Davis then stole second as Doubront and the Red Sox appeared to forget about him for a moment.
Doubront then couldn't make the play on a slow roller off the bat of Mark Reynolds. The infield single put runners on first and third, and Machado singled to center to give Baltimore a 1-0 lead.
The Orioles stretched it to 3-0 in the fourth when Davis crushed a two-run homer to right after Adam Jones reached on an error.
Boston answered in the top of the fifth when Mauro Gomez led off with a walk and scored on Jarrod Saltalamacchia's two-run homer.
Reynolds then helped Johnson with two sparkling plays on defense at first in the inning, one a diving stab of a Pedro Ciraico grounder and later an inning-ending catch of Mike Aviles' foul pop near the stands. On the Aviles popup, Reynolds actually fell over the tarp next to the stands but held on, ending the inning.
NOTES: Davis is not known for being a runner, but he got a huge jump on Doubront on his steal. It was just the second steal of the season for Davis...In addition, the Davis homer gave him 30 for the season and marked just the sixth time in club history that the Orioles have had two players hitting at least 30 homers in one season. However, it's the second straight season it has taken place as J.J. Hardy and Reynolds did it in 2011. Before that, the Orioles hadn't pulled it off since Brady Anderson and Rafael Palmiero did it 16 years ago...Saltalamacchia's 25 homers are the most that a Boston catcher has hit since Jason Varitek's 25 in 2003. The team record for a catcher comes next, as Carlton Fisk hit 26 twice...The only hit for Boston in Friday's loss was Scott Podsednik's bunt single to lead off the game. According to Elias, the last time that happened was when Cesar Tovar of the Minnesota Twins did it against the Washington Senators on Aug. 13, 1970.