Monday, December 22nd, 2014

O’s play 4.2 games in Seattle, gain 3-game sweep

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The Orioles played two very 2012-Oriole-esque games to earn a sweep of the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. After taking game one in very non-Oriole fashion, 10-4, the next two games were much more their style.

In game two, the Birds trailed 2-0 for pretty much the entire game before scoring twice in the top of the ninth inning to tie it up. Neither team would score again until the O’s pushed home two in the BOTTOM OF THE 18TH to take a 4-2 win. After playing a double-header and only getting a single win out of it, Buck had to make a drastic move.

Because the bullpen was so taxed, he was forced to call up 2011 draft pick, phenom Dylan Bundy. After the front office squashed some rumors about a month ago, Bundy was not expected in Baltimore this season. However, if game three starter Joe Saunders got in trouble, Bundy would be making his major league debut.

Fortunately, Saunders matched Mariners Ace Felix Hernandez pitch-for-pitch, allowing only a single solo home run to Franklin Gutierrez in pitching eight strong innings.

Unfortunately, the O’s managed only a single run themselves, when Chris Davis scored from first base on a Mark Reynolds single in the fourth. And so, to extras we went, yet again.

Adam Jones had finally had enough of the free baseball nonsense though, and launched a two-run home run in the bottom of the 11th to put the O’s up 3-1. Despite getting some runners on against Jim Johnson in the bottom of the frame, the Mariners ran themselves out of any potential rally as Michael Saunders was caught trying to steal second by Taylor Teagarden for the M’s 33rd and final out.

Jones made some MLB history with his 30th jack.

Take it away, Steve Melewski:

When Adam Jones blasted Josh Kinney’s pitch over the fence in the 11th inning in Seattle to help the Orioles gain a sweep of the Mariners, he made Major League Baseball history.

Jones is the first player ever to have at least four homers in the 11th inning or later in one season. That great stat comes from Elias Sports.

Jones is batting .261 (6-for-23) when he hits in extra innings in 2012, and four of the six hits are homers. He has 10 RBIs and an OPS of 1.153 when batting in extra frames. Clutch indeed.

It was also the Orioles’ FIFTEENTH consecutive extra inning win here in 2012. It’s the longest single-season streak since the Cleveland Indians won 17 in a row way back in 1949! The Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets won 21 and 16 in a row, respectively, more recently, but their streaks each spanned two seasons, with the Pirates doing it in 1959-60, and the Mets in 1984-85.

The O’s are now an incredible 21 games over .500 at 85-64, and currently sit 0.5 games behind the New York Yankees for first place in the AL East. If Toronto can beat the Yanks tonight, the O’s will enter their three game weekend series at Fenway once again tied for first.

They’ve also tied the Oakland A’s for the top Wild Card spot thanks to a little losing streak by Billy Beane’s boys. They’re four games up on the Angels for the final WC spot with 15 games to play.

Orioles Magic keeps befuddling the experts and spitting in the face of all rationale. Here in Baltimore, we could care less.

The O’s – and we fans, who stayed up well past 1 AM eastern time these last few nights – get a well-deserved rest today. We’ll all be watching the Blue Jays (and Rangers) hoping they can pull off victories.

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