MINNEAPOLIS - Chris Dickerson, who started in right field tonight for the Orioles, has a theory about this club and its ability to overcome deficits and adversity.
"I almost think the team enjoys playing from behind, with an attitude that's like, 'OK, we're going to come back,'" Dickerson said. "The team has been so incredibly resilient and everybody just working within the team, putting together good at-bats, playing basically in every facet of the game, minus the defense in the first inning on my part. I don't think anybody had a doubt as to us coming back and making up that deficit and that showed."
Dickerson misplayed a Joe Mauer line drive into a double in the first inning, which led to a run, but he had an RBI double and a single to help the Orioles rally from a six-run deficit.
"This was so casual, nonchalant, like, 'OK, 6-0. We're going to come back.' And very rarely do you ever experience that where the team knew we were going to come back and win," Dickerson said. "It was amazing."
What does it say about the Orioles that they didn't have a home run among their 18 hits?
"That we're a doubles machine," Dickerson replied.
Jim Johnson is a saves machine. That's 35 consecutive successful regular-season conversions.
"I wasn't thinking about it, obviously," he said. "I was just thinking about watching us chip away. I thought it was a great team win. Everybody kind of chipped in. Good effort out of the bullpen, guys had great at-bats and we ended up pulling it out."
What about breaking Randy Myers' record?
"It's not really anything I'm focused on," he said. "It's great, but our ultimate goal is our team record at the end of the year and going further than that. Personal achievements are always second."
Tommy Hunter is just as impressed by Johnson as any batter who steps into the box.
"He throws a 95 mph power sinker," Hunter said. "It's probably not fun to hit, I can imagine."
The Orioles' bullpen didn't allow a run over six innings tonight. The Twins managed only three hits after starter Jason Hammel left the game, with one walk and five strikeouts.
"We're throwing the ball well," Hunter said. "We're called up and we're doing our job. It's about all we
can do right now. We keep getting the ball, we're going to keep throwing innings. Hopefully, we keep winning games like this.
"We give our team a chance to win, and these guys are going to hit. Just give them time and they'll
come through. They did it tonight."
Hammel needed the rest of the team to pick him up.
"It's been a grind from the get-go, honestly," he said after seeing his ERA rise to 4.93. "Really not much to say about myself. The way the team battled back after I put them in a deep hole, the bullpen to come in and hold it strong there. And then, like I said last week, you stick around long enough, these guys are going to put up some runs. I mean, nine runs in four innings from these guys, that's impressive."
Hammel's primary issue is a lack of fastball command.
"It's not like I was falling behind guys," he said. "I kind of was, but not as bad. But finishing pitches. You know, when I've got two strikes, ahead in the count. I'm still making hittable pitches, so I've got to do better at finishing hitters."
Between now and his next start, Hammel said he will "get back to work."
"Obviously, it's frustrating because I haven't been the Jason Hammel that I know that I can be," he said. "Just battle, battle, battle. Sooner or later it'll become easy, I've just got to keep putting in the hard work and being confident in what I do."
The Orioles are 6-1 when Hammel starts, which eases some of the burden.
"You know, I can't be too ticked," he said. "That's a pretty big hook unscrewed tonight."