The Baltimore Orioles may be creating the Orioles Magic at just the right time as Chris Davis delivered a clutch two out, two run single in the top of the 12th inning to lead the O's past the Boston Red Sox 5-3 and move to within one game of a wildcard spot.
If you were still awake watching the game, then undoubtedly those horrid feelings came rushing back to you in regards to the Orioles and their lack of producing with runners in scoring position when Manny Machado fouled out with the bases loaded and one out in the 12th inning. Fortunately, this team never quits and Crush picked up Manny as he delivered the two run single for the game winner.
"When I first went up there, I was really just looking for something out over the plate," Davis said after the game. "I saw the guys earlier in the inning go up the middle, and really just trying to stay up the middle with him. He's got a lot of life on his fastball. He's a guy I've faced a few times in the past, so I had a little bit to go off of. But he buckled me with a breaking ball and I was somehow able to get the barrel to it and get it through the infield. Anytime you're in a game like that, you want to be the guy to get the hit, whether it's a squibber up the middle or a home run. You can feel the intensity with both teams going out there trying to get a run. I'll take it however I can get it."
It was certainly a huge hit for the Orioles who had come back from two runs down early in the game, then lost a one run lead, but courtesy of Davis's single, Baltimore ended up on top. JJ Hardy and Brian Roberts delivered back-to-back one out singles in the 12th and advanced on a wild pitch to second and third with one out. Boston then intentionally walked Steve Pearce, who was pinch hitting for Nate McLouth, before Machado's foul out and Davis's heroics.
Yes Crush delivered the big hit for the Birds, but it was the pitching staff, and especially the bullpen that even allowed the possibility of a 12 inning victory. Baltimore's bullpen combined for 6 1/3 innings of shutout relief and was capped off with Jim Johnson picking up his AL leading 47th save with a scoreless 12th inning. Kevin Gausman pitched in two scoreless innings as well, but was borderline dominant as he struck out five of the six batters he faced in the seventh and eighth innings.
"To be honest, I just tried to go out there and throw strikes," Gausman said. "It's something that I've really focused on more than anything coming out of the 'pen. You can't walks guys, especially in a tight game like tonight. I'm still kind of getting used to throwing out of the bullpen, but I felt comfortable out there. You pound the strike zone and use Wiety (Matt Wieters) and use what you know against the hitters."
Despite playing 12 innings, the Orioles only mustered 10 hits on the night as opposed to the 15 by Boston hitters. Nick Markakis, Danny Valencia, Wieters and Roberts each had two hits apiece for the Birds, while Davis and Wieters chipped in two RBI and Roberts one.
Last night was the Orioles 114th game this season without committing an error, which broke the Major League record for most games in a single season without committing an error held by the 2008 Houston Astros.
The win, combined with a Texas Rangers loss, moves the O's to within one game of the second wildcard spot and remain just two games behind the Rays for the first wildcard spot. Baltimore will look for the series sweep tonight as they send Chris Tillman (16-6) to the mound for the start against John Lackey (9-12) of the Red Sox. A win tonight, along with a Rangers loss would put the Orioles in a tie for the second wildcard spot.
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