Davis lifts Orioles past Red Sox in 12


Chris Davis heads to first after hitting a two-run single in the 12th inning. (Elise Amendola/Associated Press)
September 19, 2013

The Orioles’ extra-inning battles in Boston last season helped build this franchise a new foundation of winning against the big, bad Red Sox.

And this year’s version of the Orioles never needed a victory at Fenway Park as badly as it did Wednesday night.

A day after setting a club record with his 51st home run, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis helped his team win with small ball, hitting a two-out, two-run single through the middle of the infield against left-hander Franklin Morales (2-2) in the 12th inning. With their 5-3 win before an announced sellout of 38,540 at Fenway Park, the Orioles moved to within one game of the second American League wild-card spot with 11 to play.

“We’ve been here before,” Davis said. “I think last year we were obviously really good in one-run games, and I think we kind of learned a little bit about ourselves and what it takes to compete in those games. This year is no different. We know its crunch time right now and that we’ve got to take whatever we can get.”

The Orioles (81-70) recorded their sixth series win in their past seven trips to Fenway Park and their 14th win in their past 19 games in Boston. Last year they they won four games in extras innings here.

Wednesday night, Baltimore went errorless for the 114th game this season, passing the 2008 Houston Astros for the most in major league history since 1900.

The Orioles also got a boost from their bullpen, which pitched 61 / 3scoreless innings in relief, including multiple-inning outings by right-handers Kevin Gausman and Tommy Hunter. Closer Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless 12th inning for his 47th save.

The Orioles won despite a short outing from left-handed starter Wei-Yin Chen, who allowed a career-high 11 hits and lasted just 52 / 3innings. He allowed three runs on two Boston homers, striking out five and walking none.

The Orioles also got a boost from their bullpen, which pitched 61 / 3scoreless innings in relief, including multiple-inning outings by right-handers Kevin Gausman and Tommy Hunter. Closer Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless 12th inning for his 47th save.

The Red Sox (92-61) had the winning run on base in both the 10th and 11th innings to lead off each frame, but couldn’t score.

With the winning run on first base and no outs in the 10th and the Orioles playing a shift on David Ortiz, Hunter induced an unconventional 6-5-3 double play with third baseman Manny Machado making the turn at second. Hunter then got Mike Napoli to fly out to left to end the inning.

In the 11th, Mike Carp reached on an infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. But after issuing an intentional walk to Will Middlebrooks to create a force out at any base, left-hander T.J. McFarland (2-1) induced a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play from Stephen Drew.

Red Sox starter Jake Peavy held the Orioles hitless through his first innings of work, but the Orioles rallied to tie the game with two runs in the fifth.

Designated hitter Danny Valencia — who fueled the Orioles’ win Tuesday with a ninth-inning triple — opened the inning with a single to left.

Matt Wieters then laced a pitch into the deepest part of Fenway Park, doubling into the center-field nook over Shane Victorino’s head to score Valencia for the Orioles’ first run.

Two batters later, No. 9 hitter Brian Roberts drilled another double into the left-center field gap to plate Wieters and tie the game at 2.

The Orioles took a 3-2 lead with a two-out rally in the sixth off Peavy. Back-to-back singles by Nick Markakis and Valencia set the stage for Wieters, who hit his second RBI double of the night, a ground-rule double down the right-field line that one-hopped into the stands.

Had the ball not bounced out of play it would have scored two runs instead of one.

Peavy allowed three runs on six hits over seven innings, striking out eight and walking one.

The Orioles fell behind just three batters into the game as Ortiz hit a two-run homer, his 28th of the season, on a towering shot that landed several rows deep to the right of the 380-foot sign in right field.

Chen settled, retiring eight of nine Red Sox batters before allowing a solo homer to Napoli, a game-tying blast to straight-away center that came on a 2-2 pitch to open the sixth inning.

Later in the frame, Chen was chased from the game after allowing back-to-back two-out singles by Middlebrooks and Drew.

Right-hander Francisco Rodriguez nearly picked off Middlebrooks off second base, but he still escaped the inning by inducing an inning-ending ground out from David Ross.

Gausman, a rookie making just his second back-to-back relief appearance, struck out five of the six hitters he faced in two perfect relief innings in the seventh and eighth innings, dialing up a mix of wicked fastballs that reached 99 mph with a slider, change-up, splitter combo.

— Baltimore Sun

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