Orioles have now won 15 consecutive extra-inning games
The never-say-die Baltimore Orioles followed an 18-inning win over Seattle at Safeco Field on Tuesday with an 11-inning victory on Wednesday. The Orioles have now won 15 consecutive extra-inning games, which is the longest streak since the Cleveland Indians captured 19 in a row in 1949.
Now 85-64, the Orioles are off on Thursday and will open a three-game series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Friday. If the Yankees lose to Toronto on Thursday night, Baltimore will be tied atop the American League East. At worst, the Orioles will be one game out.
The Orioles are continuing to win even without right fielder Nick Markakis, who was lost for the rest of the regular season earlier this month with a broken thumb. Adam Jones has hoisted the team on his shoulders. The former Mariners top prospect belted his 30th home run of the year in the top of the 11th inning on Wednesday night, a two-run shot that gave Baltimore a 4-2 lead. The home run also scored Nate McLouth, who has delivered for the Orioles in Markakis’ absence.
The 30-year-old McLouth, who was released by Pittsburgh earlier this season and signed with Baltimore in June, is hitting .287 in 157 at-bats for the Orioles after posting a .140 average in 57 at-bats for the Pirates. Over his last 10 games, McLouth has a .319 average.
On Wednesday night, left-hander Joe Saunders limited the Mariners to one run and five hits over eight innings, matching Felix Hernandez, who held Baltimore to one run and six hits over eight innings. Since he was acquired from Arizona on August 26, Saunders is 2-2 with a 3.48 ERA in five starts.
It remains to be seen if the Orioles can overcome the Yankees and win the American League East, but barring a collapse they will reach the postseason since 1997. Their ability to win close games and extra-inning contests is a key reason why.