With the Orioles entrenched in yet another extra-inning game, Thome’s big swing lofted a ball that one-hopped into the right-field stands for an RBI ground-rule double in the 12th inning, the key hit in the Orioles’ 9-6 win over the Red Sox in front of an announced sellout crowd of 37,570 at Fenway Park. The win was the Orioles’ season-high sixth straight.
"Jimmy, when he collides with the ball, usually something happens that you like when he's on your team,” Orioles Manager Buck Showalter said. “A lot of guys would have thrown in the towel with the some of the issues he had going on with his back, but he grinded through it and came back to make a contribution, and I feel really good for him. He means a lot to our club and the clubhouse."
As extra innings progressed, the Fenway faithful streamed out of the century-old ballpark, leaving the chants of “Let’s Go, O’s” to fill the seating bowl.
Saturday marked the Orioles club-record 16th straight extra-inning win. It was their fourth extra-inning win this season in Boston and their fourth victory in 11 or more innings in their last nine contests.
"I think in baseball, I don't want to say you have to have a little luck, but you have to have a little mojo on your side,” Thome said. “You have to be talented. Our bullpen has done a tremendous job, and so have our starters. You can't forget the offense, either. When you play extra innings, you manufacture runs. That's one thing we've done really well. It's not so much always been a home run.”
The win gave the Orioles (87-64), who have won nine of their last 10 at Fenway Park, three series wins in Boston this season. Earlier this month, the Orioles also clinched three series wins at Yankees Stadium this season.The Orioles, who have a AL-high 45 road wins, have won nine of their last 11 road series against the AL East.
With win helped the Orioles keep pace one game behind the division-leading Yankees, who beat Oakland 10-9 in 14 innings. They also remained in the top AL wild-card spot, ahead of the A’s by two games.
When Thome went on the disabled list on July 31, forced to leave the team while it was playing a key division series at Yankee Stadium, it was unclear when he’d be able to return, especially given his history of nagging back problems.
But Thome said he would think about being in situations like Saturday’s when he was rehabbing at the Orioles’ spring training complex in Sarasota.
“You want to be a part of what they're doing,” Thome said. “That's what makes you work hard when you're down there. You really don't know. You don't know on rehab how the process is going to go, so being here and being in this atmosphere, you enjoy every minute of it, no doubt."