BALTIMORE (AP) — Ryan Flaherty had two hits subbing for Chris Davis after baseball’s home run champ left with a sprained wrist, and the Baltimore Orioles wrapped up their season Sunday with a 7-6 victory over the playoff-bound Boston Red Sox.
With Davis’ season ending a couple of hours earlier than expected, Flaherty hit an RBI single in a five-run fifth and a run-scoring double when the Orioles took the lead for good in the sixth.
Davis was hurt in the fourth inning when his arm got in the way of Jacoby Ellsbury on a play at first. The player who accepted the Orioles’ MVP award before the game walked off to a standing ovation, finishing tops in the majors in both homers (53) and RBIs (138).
The Orioles finished 85-77, giving them back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1996-97, an achievement that hardly tempers the disappointment of not repeating last year’s run to the playoffs.
The Red Sox wrapped up a 97-65 season, tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the best record in baseball. Boston will open its division series at Fenway Park on Friday against the winner of the AL’s wild-card playoff, a layoff so long that manager John Farrell is planning simulated games for Wednesday’s workout.
Making liberal use of the bench and bullpen with home-field advantage in the postseason already clinched, the Red Sox blew a 5-0 lead and used seven pitchers. Rubby De La Rosa (0-2) gave up Baltimore’s go-ahead run in the sixth.
T.J. McFarland (4-1), the second of four Orioles pitchers, threw one scoreless inning for the win.
Jim Johnson worked the ninth for his 50th save, but not before allowing one run and nearly a second that would have tied the game. The Red Sox had men on first and third with one out when Will Middlebrooks ended the game by hitting into a 5-4-3 double play.