The Baltimore Orioles showed they were still playing with the fire in their stomachs as they came back from a five run deficit for a 7-6 victory and a series win over the Boston Red Sox.
Trailing 5-0 in the fifth inning, the Orioles offense all of the sudden exploded. Baltimore began the inning with back-to-back singles from Steve Clevenger and Jonathan Schoop, and ended up loading the bases with one out. JJ Hardy proceeded to hit a ground rule double to score two and cut the deficit to 5-2. Ryan Flaherty, who came into the game to replace the injured Chris Davis, then delivered a RBI single to cut the lead to just two, before Nate McLouth then roped a two run double down the right field line to tie the game at five.
The fun continued in the sixth inning as Schoop, who led off with a single, scored on a wild pitch to give the Orioles the lead and Flaherty singled home another run later in the inning to give the Birds a 7-5 lead.
Jim Johnson came in the game for the save in the ninth, and although he gave up a run and needed a game ending double play to secure the victory, he still earned his 50th save of the season. Johnson became just the second player in MLB history with back-to-back 50 saves seasons, joining Eric Gagne.
Chris Tillman (16-7) got the start on the mound for the Orioles and had seen better days as he allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits, one walk and five strikeouts. It was not the way Tillman wanted to end his season, but he still became the first Orioles pitcher to win more than 15 games in a season in the 21st century this season.
Schoop (2-4, two runs scored) and Flaherty (2-3, run scored, two RBI) each had the only multi hit games for the Birds, while Hardy and McLouth each added two RBI as well.
It was a magic end to a good season for the Orioles, who finished the year 85-77 and broke the MLB record for fewest errors in a single season with 54. Orioles101 will break down every aspect of the 2013 season in great length over the coming months, but for right now, let's just enjoy the fact that the Orioles have had two consecutive winning seasons after suffering through 14 straight losing ones.
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