BOSTON - The Green Monster no longer terrifies the Orioles, who will attempt another sweep of the Red Sox today at Fenway Park.
It happened back on May 4-6 for the first time since 1994. Now they have a chance to do it twice in the same season.
The Orioles have won 16 of their last 21 games against the Red Sox, and nine of the last 10 in Boston.
The Yankees outlasted the A’s yesterday to maintain their one-game lead in the American League East, but the Orioles have a two-game lead in the wild card race.
“We’re getting closer,” said center fielder Adam Jones. “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. I haven’t seen the magic number for us. I pay attention to the scoreboard now. 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.
“We’re playing good ball. I don’t know if we’re playing the best ball of the season, but we’re playing good ball when it matters, and right now it matters. We’ve got 12 games left, 12 games of hell and we’ve just got to approach them as all must-wins. I know they’re not all must-wins but we’ve got to take them at must-wins. We have to keep up with what the leaders in the division are doing. No one cares. No one is selfish. We don’t care whoever gets it done. We just want the team W.”
Getting it in regulation would be preferred, though not required.
The Orioles won their 16th consecutive extra-inning game yesterday, the longest streak in the majors since the Indians won 17 in a row in 1949. They’ve played 69 extra innings this season and have outscored their opponents 33-5.
“I’m tired of playing extra-inning games, to be honest with you,” Jones said, “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.”
As long as the cutoff is 18.
Jones contributed in extras again yesterday, as he’s done so many times, with a leadoff double in the 12th inning.
“It’s just coincidence,” he said. “I think I want to go home, too. I don’t know. I guess it’s right man, right spot. Later in the game, the opportunity window gets smaller and things happen. The game can change. I want to be an impact player, and to do that, you’ve got to impact the game late.”
If it’s tied again today, maybe he can do it in the ninth.