The Baltimore Orioles endured an 18-inning battle against the Seattle Mariners that began on Tuesday night and ran into early yesterday morning, eventually earning a 4-2 victory that tied them with the New York Yankees atop the American League East.
Chasing their first playoff appearance since 1997, the Orioles (84-64) once again delivered with a late-inning rally in Seattle that left them even with the Yankees (83-63).
Baltimore trailed 2-0 in the ninth, but got a two-run single from Chris Davis to send the game into extra innings and set up a battle of the bullpens.
A combined 14 relievers were used to shut down the respective offenses, but pinch-hitter Taylor Teagarden ended the drought with a go-ahead RBI single in the 18th. The Orioles scored twice in the final inning to pull off the marathon victory.
Orioles starting pitcher Chen Wei-yin of Taiwan went 5-1/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out two.
“It’s tough,” said Baltimore’s Nate McLouth, who had three hits. “When you start going that long, there’s a part of you that has to fight the feeling: ‘Oh, let’s just get this game over with.’ Especially in the position we’re in.”
Tommy Hunter (5-8) picked up the victory and he did it with a little extra measure of “good luck.”
Just before taking the mound in the 16th inning, one of the hovering seagulls unloaded on his cap.
“Here I was minding my own business,” Hunter said. “Guys were dying laughing. Then everyone said it was good luck. Then we won the game.”
No stranger to long drawn out matchups, Baltimore improved to 14-2 in extra-inning games. Their latest duel took nearly six hours.