With right-hander Kevin Gausman on the mound, first baseman Chris Davis producing more heroics and Boston designated hitter David Ortiz going deep, it had all the makings of a classic American League East matchup.
But a much more nuanced statistic could have been lost in the shuffle of the Orioles and Red Sox combining to use 11 relievers in the first game of a four-game series.
Thursday night was just the fifth time in Red Sox history that the team has sent at least 45 batters to the plate without one drawing a walk and the first time since 1998, according to ESPNBoston.com. The Red Sox went to the plate 47 times against seven Orioles pitchers and did not draw a base on balls.
One of the previous four times also featured the Orioles. On Sept. 11, 1970, the Orioles defeated the Red Sox, 3-2, in 13 innings at Memorial Stadium. Boston mustered 12 hits in 51 plate appearances but couldn’t draw a walk against Hall of Famer Jim Palmer or Eddie Watt.
Palmer turned in a classic performance, pitching 12 innings and allowing two runs on 10 hits and striking out eight. Boston’s Sonny Siebert also pitched 12 innings and allowed two runs on nine hits and a walk while striking out eight.
The Orioles finally won in the 13th after Don Buford doubled against Sparky Lyle to lead off the inning, and Mark Belanger later singled to center field to score him.
Thursday night’s game also marked yet another extra-inning game in recent Orioles-Red Sox history:
- The 13-inning game was the fifth time since the beginning of the 2012 season the teams have gone to extra innings.
- The Orioles are 5-0 in those games, which have gone 13, 17, 10, 12 and 13 innings
- Thursday’s game was the first of the five at Camden Yards, also meaning it was the first Orioles walk-off in the five games
- The Orioles and Red Sox didn’t play any extra-inning games in 2011
- Thursday was the only game of the five that was a one-run game.
- Davis had the winning hit in two of those games (May 5, 2012; Thursday)
- Davis was also the winning pitcher in the 17-inning game on May 6, 2012.
- The Orioles were 16-2 in extra-inning games in 2012
- They’re now 5-3 in 2013 extra-inning games