O's snap losing season streak, eyeing more

BALTIMORE - The long Baltimore Orioles nightmare is over. The 14-season losing streak is history.

In this surprising season, the Orioles continued their march toward the postseason with a taut 3-2 win in 14 innings over the Tampa Bay Rays before 25,130 at Oriole Park on Thursday afternoon.

Hoping to get a head start on a cross-country flight to Oakland, the Orioles began Thursday's game at 12:35 p.m. When it ended more than five hours later, Baltimore had its 81st win of the season, a three-game sweep of third-place Tampa Bay, and remained tied with the Yankees for first place in the AL East.

Manager Buck Showalter wasn't celebrating the end of a generation of losing baseball.

"There's a bigger goal in mind, and that wasn't the goal from Day One this spring," Showalter said. "It's watching other teams for years and saying: 'We want to do what they're doing.' We'd like to get a chair at the dance, you know?"

The Orioles (81-62) won their 13th straight extra-inning game. According to Elias, it's tied for the second-longest single-season extra-innings win streak in Major League Baseball history.

Little comfort for the manager.

"I was thinking in the dugout, 'If we're so good at it, why didn't we do it in the 10th inning?'" Showalter said.

Manny Machado, whose offensive and defensive heroics were the key to Wednesday's win, hit an RBI single to left that a diving Matt Joyce just missed. Adam Jones, who had a two-out walk off Chris Archer (0-3), scored the winning run.

After Jones' walk, Endy Chavez singled and then Machado's came through.

"I'm not used to it yet," the 20-year-old third baseman said. "We're all excited, and we have one goal, which is to make the playoffs."

Fading Tampa Bay (77-66) tried everything. They used a club record 26 players, most in an American League game in 40 years, tied a team record with nine pitchers, and used Archer as a pinch-hitter in the 11th when Ryan Roberts injured his left leg and couldn't continue. It was the first time a pitcher pinch hit and then pitched in an AL game since 1979.

Rays manager Joe Maddon even used a five-man infield in the 13th to prevent the Orioles from scoring with the bases loaded and none out.

That didn't stop the Orioles from getting that 81st win.

"I definitely think it's something to be proud of. We've played well so far this year and put ourselves in a position to make the playoffs. But we're not looking back right now, we're looking forward, one game at a time, and try to pile up the wins," Chris Davis said.

Wei-Yin Chen allowed two runs and eight hits in 7 1-3 innings.

Baltimore took a 2-1 lead in the seventh on Taylor Teagarden's two-run double.

Tampa Bay tied it in the eighth, and six Orioles relief pitchers combined for 6 23 scoreless innings.

Randy Wolf (2-0) struck out the only batter he faced for the win.

NOTES: Jason Hammel had an MRI on his surgically repaired right knee on Thursday morning. Hammel left Tuesday's game when his knee began hurting. The MRI found nothing structurally wrong. ."If I can get back at any point this season, I will," Hammel said. ... Joe Saunders (2-1, 4.24) faces Oakland's Tommy Milone (12-10, 3.90) as the Orioles begin a three-game series. Zach Britton (5-2, 4.72) pitches on Saturday against Jarrod Parker (10-8, 3.56). Showalter hasn't decided on a Sunday starter to face Dan Straily (2-0, 3.42). After Oakland, the Orioles play three in Seattle and three in Boston before returning here on Sept. 24 for a doubleheader with Toronto. ... The Orioles are 27-7 in one-run games.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun