Not long after he had provided the Orioles with their fourth walk-off win of the year, Chris Dickerson said he had a simple approach in his at-bat in the ninth inning tonight.
He also knew his game-winning three-run homer was gone right after he drove a 2-1 pitch from Jose Valverde toward the right-center field seats.
“Just told myself to be a little shorter and just hit it,” Dickerson said. “I knew I’d hit my first career walk-off. Pretty cool.
“Down two runs with this team? That is striking distance. Two runs with this team? That can happen in the blink of an eye.
“This team continues to be resilient and does it week after week. It’s incredible, the at-bats and effort this team puts out every night. It has truly been an incredible experience to be a part of this team.”
Dickerson’s blast completed a rally from down 5-3 to win 7-5 as the Orioles scored four in the last of the ninth.
Dickerson joins Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis and Nate McLouth as Orioles that have come up with a walk-off hit this year. It sent the sellout crowd into a frenzy.
“They are amazing. We’ve had incredible crowds this last week in Washington, too,” Dickerson said. “When they do the ‘O’ (in the anthem), it’s a lot like the playoffs last year. These fans are excited and it’s great to see them turn out.”
The comeback was on when Nick Markakis led off the last of the ninth with a homer to pull the O’s within 5-4.
“That was kind of the thing (that started it),” Dickerson said. “If I was on their team and knew our team, I would have been like, ‘Uh oh, here we go again.’ That is what I would say to myself.”
The Orioles caught a break when Tigers starter Max Scherzer, who had retired the last 16 batters in a row, left after the eighth inning having thrown 119 pitches.
“When he is on, he’s good. He’s one of the best pitchers in baseball,” Dickerson said. “He was definitely on his game. Once he came out there was a little sigh of relief.”
More clubhouse quotes
Miguel Gonzalez on his outing and Miguel Cabrera’s homer
“I was throwing a lot of strikes, then a couple of guys, I fell behind. Couple mistakes there. This team has a tough lineup. That was impressive (the Cabrera homer), you have to tip your hat to that. I went split-finger, foul ball, then two-seam in, and up and in. Sometimes you have to tip your hat.
“I was in our video room (in the bottom of the ninth). That was fun to watch. That is the type of team we have. Chris’ home run was unbelievable.”
Adam Jones on Dickerson
“He’s been having some good at-bats for us. It was a big spot for him. He got a good pitch to hit and he crushed that ball. This team, the grinding of the players, we play every day and go up and give a great effort every single time and we never give anything away. Tonight was a prime example of that. Valverde is still an upper-echelon closer.”
Does a winning team need games like this?
“You have to. There are going to be games where you need comeback wins. The one in Minnesota sticks out. We were down 6-0 rather quickly. Tonight, Cabrera hit the homer but we chipped away,” Jones said.
“This crowd was awesome. They’re coming. The warmer weather brings them out and we are playing good baseball. We love having them out there. We love the support and need the support.”
* The Orioles have won eight of 11 games. Since July 29, 2012, they have the best winning percentage in the majors (.621, 72-44) and the most wins (72) in that span.
* Jones went 3-for-4 tonight with three runs scored and a two-run homer. He entered the game tied for third in the AL in hits (70) and has now hit safely in 49 of 55 games.
* Chris Davis went 2-for-4 and is batting .541 (20-for-37) over his last 10 games. Over his past 21 games, he is batting .420 with nine doubles, 10 homers, 21 runs scored and 20 RBIs.
* The Orioles won for the second time this season when trailing after eight innings. The Tigers had been 26-2 when leading after eight.