With the game on the line in the last of the 10th Sunday, the Orioles had their home run and RBI leader at the plate vs. Jonathan Papelbon.
Not Nick Markakis, or Matt Wieters or even Miguel Tejada.
It was Ty Wigginton at the plate and a Papelbon error had moved Markakis, who drew a leadoff walk, to second base.
Two innings earlier, manager Dave Trembley had Wigginton drop a sac bunt. He said he did not expect to get the bunt sign this time.
“Probably not, because it didn’t work out the time before. You never know, if he had asked me to get it down, I would have tried my best to bunt again.
“Early in the at bat, I was trying to go the other way, get Nicky to third. But once I fell to two strikes, I was just looking to battle and hit something hard.”
That he did. Wigginton drilled an 0-2 pitch for an RBI double to deep center to give the O’s a 3-2 win in ten innings and their first three-game home sweep of Boston since September of 1974.
Wigginton is now batting .329-8-15 and has 12 hits in his last 29 at bats (.414).
On a day the Red Sox had Josh Beckett on the mound at the start and Papelbon at the end, the Orioles won the game.
“Hope this means we are heading in the right direction. They are two of the best pitchers in baseball.
“Hopefully we can just carry the momentum over. From a personal standpoint, here in about ten minutes, we’ll put this one behind us and start trying to get ready for tomorrow,” Wigginton said.
Wigginton was asked if he was up in a situation any hitter might love. The game on the line, the crowd roaring and the other team’s closer firing toward the plate.
“Anytime you get to bat with a guy in scoring position, that’s a fun time in the game. That’s when all your homework pays off in that video room and hopefully you can come through.”
Papelbon entered today with a career 0.87 ERA (3 ER over 31IP) vs. the Orioles, the lowest ERA all-time of any pitcher with 30 or more career innings vs. the O’s.
This time he didn’t get to thrust his fist in the air with another save vs. the Orioles. He walked off the mound after a loss as the O’s celebrated their sweep and a 4-2 homestand vs. Boston and New York.