Carroll County Times

Thome helps O's prevail in extras

BOSTON - The Baltimore Orioles are getting closer to their first postseason spot in 15 years. When they end their drought, they'll be able to point to their success in extra innings.

On Saturday, it took 12, but it was their third in the last four games. With a three-run 12th inning, the Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox 9-6 before 37,570 at Fenway Park.

The Orioles (87-64) trail New York by a game in the AL East. The Yankees defeated Oakland 10-9 in 14 innings, and as a result, Baltimore is two games ahead of the Athletics for the top wild card spot.

It was their sixth straight win, longest winning streak of the season.

Baltimore has won 16 straight games in extra innings, the longest single-season streak since 1949, and they've won all 11 they've played on the road.

"I'm tired of playing extra-inning games to be honest with you but, we're not quitting until that last out is made so if we need 13, 14, 15, up to 18 innings to do the job, I guess that's what we have to do," Adam Jones said.

Jones scored the go-ahead run on Jim Thome's ground-rule double off Alfredo Aceves (2-10). The Orioles added two more runs on RBI singles by Endy Chavez and Manny Machado.

It was Thome's first game after missing eight weeks with a herniated disc in his neck.

"You're playing extra innings. You're trying to get a feel. Fortunately, the ball was [over] the plate, and it went over his head. It was a big hit. The guys who've been playing have been playing really well," Thome said.

Tommy Hunter, the Orioles' seventh pitcher got the win. He's 6-8. Hunter, who had some fastballs exceed 100 mph, also won Tuesday's 18-inning game in Seattle.

Jim Johnson worked the bottom of the 13th for his 47th save.

Baltimore had a 6-3 lead going to the bottom of the seventh. Ryan Flaherty's two-run triple in the sixth and Jones' 31st home run in the seventh, broke a 3-3 tie.

Jake Arrieta, pitching in relief of starter Randy Wolf, allowed two runs in the seventh, and Pedro Strop allowed Boston (68-85) to tie it in the eighth.

Wolf threw five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits.

With the win, the Orioles are getting closer to qualifying for the playoffs, but aren't taking anything for granted.

"Once we see that magic number as zero, until they tell you after this win you clinch, until then we've got a lot of room to work," Jones said.

"Magic number, I haven't heard anything, and I don't care. I just want to know at the end of this 162 whether we're getting in."

NOTES: Robert Andino was held out a day after he was beaned by Boston's Mark Melancon. Andino thought Melancon threw at him. "At this level, man I think you should have command of your pitches, but whatever," Andino said. He was taken for a CT-scan on Friday night and will take his third concussion test on Sunday. ... Manager Buck Showalter said that he hasn't set a rotation for the postseason. "I'm going game by game," Showalter said. There will be no postseason unless you take care of each game." ... Machado's third-inning error snapped a 114-inning errorless streak by the Orioles. It was their longest streak since 2003. ... The Orioles clinched the season series from the Red Sox for the first time since 2004. ... Mark Reynolds' fourth-inning home run was the 16th he's hit against AL East teams-six against Boston.