Orioles beat Nationals, 5-1, reduce magic number to 1; Rays defeat Red Sox to avoid elimination - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Orioles beat Nationals, 5-1, reduce magic number to 1; Rays defeat Red Sox to avoid elimination

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE—The Orioles’ celebration will have to wait another night. While the Orioles took care of business, reducing their magic number to one with a 5-1 win over the Washington Nationals before an announced crowd of 24,278 at Camden Yards on Wednesday night, the Tampa Bay Rays didn’t help.

The Rays beat the Boston Red Sox, 5-0, and if the Orioles defeat Boston on Thursday night, they’ll clinch their first American League East title since 2014.

The Orioles (99-59) are 40 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 1979 season. They swept the four games they played against Washington (69-90), allowing just one run.

Adley Rutschman hit a two-run home run, his 20th, in the third against Nationals starter Patrick Corbin.

Jorge Mateo walked, leading off the fifth, moved to second on a passed ball by Kelbert Ruiz, stole third, his 30th of the season, and scored on Rutschman’s single to right. Jordan Westburg’s bases-loaded walk scored Anthony Santander and chased Corbin (10-15).

Cedric Mullins doubled to start the sixth against Andrés Machado. Mullins moved to third on Mateo’s bunt and scored on Hays’ single for a 5-1 lead.

Oriole starter Grayson Rodriguez (7-4) allowed a first-inning single to Kelbert Ruiz, and retired 11 straight until Dominic Smith doubled in the fifth. Smith scored on Jake Alu’s single.

Rodriguez allowed one run on six hits in 5 2/3 innings with five strikeouts and no walks.

Danny Coulombe, Jacob Webb and Tyler Wells combined to retire the final 10 batters.

Notes: The Orioles conclude the regular season with a four-game series against Boston beginning on Thursday at 6:35 p.m. Dean Kremer (12-5, 4.25) will face Chris Sale (6-4, 4.42). … Norfolk evened its International League Championship Series with a 7-2 win over Durham. Joey Ortiz drove in three runs. Kyle Stowers and Coby Mayo homered. Cole Irvin and Austin Voth combined for seven scoreless innings. They gave up four hits and struck out 14.

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