So they're not taking any wins they get now for granted.
Tyler Wilson allowed three hits over eight innings, Adam Jones added a home run and three RBI, and the Orioles beat the Red Sox 5-1 on Thursday night to earn their second series win this season over their American League East rivals.
"It's a great team win to come in here to Fenway and take two of three away from these guys and an offense like that," Wilson said. "Boston's a great team and they're going to be someone we have to fight all the way to the wire. But that's what makes this division great."
Baltimore scored three runs in the first four innings, then added two in fifth.
Wilson (3-5) was strong throughout striking out six. Pitching on an extra day of rest, he held Boston to one hit through six innings.
Eduardo Rodriguez (1-2) took the loss, lasting just 4 1/3 innings and giving up eight hits and five runs in his fourth start of the season.
"It comes down to just the consistent execution," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He found himself in some hitter counts that ended being squared up."
Over his last three starts Rodriguez has pitched 14 2/3 innings, while giving up 18 hits, 14 runs and nine walks.
Wilson had endured his own issues entering Thursday, allowing 10 runs over his previous 9 2/3 innings. That changed against Boston, thanks to some solid defense that took away hits and denied the Red Sox baserunners.
Wilson hadn't pitched into the eighth inning all season. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said his control in the strike zone was key.
"He was down today, those two or three inches are huge," Showalter said.
Meanwhile, the Orioles offense feasted on Rodriguez's early struggles on the mound.
Walks got Rodriguez in trouble during each of his previous two starts, and he was again hurt by an early one Thursday.
After striking out three batters in the first two innings, Rodriguez walled nine-hole hitter Paul Janish to begin the third.
Jones then connected on a second-pitch fastball and sent a line drive, two-run homer over the Green Monster in left field.
Rodriguez started the fourth with another walk, and it later scored on an RBI double by Jones that made it 3-0.
He was pulled in the fifth after surrendering a one-out, RBI single to Chris Davis.
David Ortiz hit his 17th homer of the season in the ninth inning for Boston.
As well as his team played this week, Showalter said he isn't getting caught up in looking ahead.
"It's a given they're going to be there. It's a given that the other three teams are going to be there," Showalter said. "We're trying to stay in the moment of every game, and it's an opportunity to get one game closer to getting a chance to play later in the year. Nobody knows."
BACK IN 1ST
The Orioles regained sole possession of first place in the AL East with the win. They improved to 6-3 in rubber games this season and have won four of six road series. Baltimore is 17-12 against Boston since 2015.
Red Sox: OF Chris Young sat out Thursday with tightness in his right quadriceps. Young experienced the sensation while running from first to third base in the second inning during Wednesday's win. Farrell said it isn't anything major. "We feel like this is such a short term situation. This is probably a one-day thing," he said.
Orioles: RHP Darren O'Day, who went on the 15-day DL on June 3 with right hamstring biceps tendinitis, said there is still no timetable for his return. "Part of my delivery is bending over, stretching the hamstring. Before I get on the mound, I want to make sure it's fully healed, so it won't happen again," O'Day said.
He said a short rehab assignment is possible, but that the decision would be made by the coaching staff.
"I'm antsy to get back, get going, but it's just a matter of doing it once and doing it right instead of reinjuring it," O'Day said.
LHP Roenis Elias (0-0, 16.20) will make his first start and just his second appearance in a Red Sox uniform when Boston hosts the Mariners on Friday.
RHP Mike Wright (3-3, 5.31) will be on the mound for his 12th start of the season when the Orioles open a three-game home series against the Blue Jays on Friday.
Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/khightower
- Home Plate Umpire - Mike Muchlinski
- First Base Umpire - Mike Winters
- Second Base Umpire - Marty Foster
- Third Base Umpire - Mark Wegner