As Brian Roberts remembers, this was just his second Major League walk-off homer.
He hit one on June 28, 2005 in the tenth inning vs. the Yankees and he connected for the win in the tenth tonight vs. the first-place White Sox.
“Just got a 1-0 fastball and, at that time of the game, I was trying to figure out whether to take a strike or not. But I was pretty sure I would get a heater at that point, 1-0 and leading off the inning. I was just fortunate enough to get a pitch to hit.”
He didn’t miss it. He sent the heater from J.J. Putz soaring 390-feet over the right-field scoreboard for a thrilling, 3-2 win over Chicago.
It was the Orioles first walk-off homer of the year and first since Matt Wieters hit one vs. Tampa on September 16 of last year.
For the Orioles, it concluded their best homestand of the year with a 6-1 record and gave them a series win over a team that was 38-13 over its last 51 games when it hit town.
“To win three out of four vs. a team as hot as the White Sox is great for all our confidence. It’s great for the organization and certainly for Buck and his start.
“When things are starting to go well, you don’t get down quite as much when, either you lose a lead or maybe you don’t score early and you get behind. The atmosphere is a little different. We all believe we are going to be in the game at the end and you give yourself a chance to win at the end and that’s all you can ask for.”
Roberts’ bat is slowly coming to life. He had two multi-hit games in this series and is 7 for 20 with 3 RBI over his last six games.
“Early on, everything was a little fast. But things are starting to slow down a bit and I actually feel pretty good at the plate. You don’t always get hits out of it and it’s only going to get better hopefully.”
So now the Orioles hit the road for Cleveland and Tampa after a thrilling, 6-1 homestand that featured two walk-off wins and four one-run victories.
It ends with a game-winning homer and a series win vs. the team with the best record in baseball since June 9th.
“Been great. As you can see, we are playing real good baseball and it all starts with the guy that leads off inning number one and throws that first pitch. Our starters have been great, they’ve gotten us deep in games and our bullpen has been good. And we’ve battled like crazy to score runs facing some good pitching,” Roberts said.
More notes on the win:
*The game-winning blast was Roberts’ first home of this season and his first since September 28 vs. Tampa’s Jeff Niemann.
*After scoring 20 runs in the sweep of the Angels, the O’s scored just 11 runs in this four-game set but outscored the White Sox 11-10 in taking three of four.
*The O’s are now 5-55 when scoring fewer than four runs in a game and two of those wins came in this series.
*The O’s improve to 21-16 in one-run games, including a 4-0 mark under Buck Showalter. They are 16-4 in one-run games at Camden Yards.
*The O’s were 0-8 this year on Mondays until this victory.
*At 6-1, Showalter ties Earl Weaver for best seven-game start as O’s skipper. Weaver went 6-1 in July of 1968.
*The Orioles have won seven of their last ten games. The last time they went 7-3 over a ten-game stretch was last June when they won seven of eight.
*The O’s have recorded seven consecutive quality starts, pitching to an ERA of 1.89 in that run. It’s their best stretch since ten straight quality starts from July 9-21, 2003.