It’s been seven years since an Oriole won 15 games. It took Chris Tillman five tries to finally win 15 and it was a crucial spot.

The Orioles lost the first two games to the Boston Red Sox and a sweep would have been disastrous.

Tillman pitched seven sturdy innings and the Orioles beat the Red Sox 3-2 before 33300 at Fenway Park on Thursday night.

The Orioles (71-61) lost the first two games of the three-game series and move on to Yankee Stadium for three more. They’re 3 ½ games behind Oakland for the second Wild Card spot.

“We’ve got 30 games left and September is an eternity. A lot of people have been in the war. It’s a long season that starts here shortly. It will edge by and that will be good for us if we’re trying to catch up” manager Buck Showalter said. “Don’t sell us short.”

Tillman who joined Rodrigo Lopez (2002 2005) and Erik Bedard (2006) as the only Orioles pitchers to win 15 in this century will be key if the team is going to make a last-ditch postseason effort. No Oriole has won more since Mike Mussina had 18 victories in 1999.

“It's good for the team. Hopefully get in a groove here and carry it over to New York" Tillman said.

Tillman allowed two runs on six hits struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter.

“He’s solid. There’ve been a couple of games he probably won this year that weren’t esthetically pleasing. He’s had some that we just weren’t able to finish up. He was just a rock pitched well the whole game” Showalter said.

Even though Showalter downplays the meaning of individual games it was a game the Orioles badly wanted.

“We needed it. Boston was starting to stretch out a lead. Especially with them head to head you lose a couple games and the lead gets stretched out a bit” Matt Wieters said.

“We're going to need a lot of games in New York and moving forward. We just need to win games and have a good end of the year.”

Tommy Hunter who lost Wednesday’s game on a flare base hit allowed a leadoff single to Jacoby Ellsbury in the eighth. He stole second on a pitchout his 50th of the season. Hunter struck out Shane Victorino and Ellsbury moved to third on a fly to right by Dustin Pedroia.