To say the least, the Orioles needed that win over the Red Sox.
Just when you’re out, they pull you back in. Well, many of you - most of you - were never really out, but you know what I mean. The roller coaster of emotions for the fans is back on the upswing.
The Orioles moved ahead of Cleveland into third in the wild-card race. Yes, only two teams make it to the postseason and the Orioles are 3 1/2 games back. But they gained ground on Oakland, Tampa Bay and Cleveland, all of which lost on Thursday.
Chris Tillman gave the O’s a big-time outing Thursday night, allowing just two runs over seven innings. It came at a time when the O’s had gotten just one quality start over the last five games and their three starters before Tillman went just five, 3 2/3 and 5 1/3 innings.
Tillman is 6-2 after an O’s loss.
Now it’s on to New York for the Orioles and maybe the fan base is feeling a little better this morning.
Some other O’s notes:
* Chris Davis hit double No. 38 of the season last night. He is now two shy of becoming the 12th major leaguer to record 40 or more doubles and 40 or more homers in the same season, joining Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Albert Belle, Todd Helton, Larry Walker, David Ortiz, Albert Pujols, Derrek Lee, Alfonso Soriano, Juan Gonzalez and Chipper Jones.
* O’s pitchers fanned 11 without walking a single batter. That was the 12th time on the year the O’s went without issuing a single walk but just the second time they did it with 11 strikeouts. The O’s staff also fanned 11 with no walks June 13 vs. Boston.
* The Orioles ended an eight-game losing streak in one-run games with their first such win since July 30 against Houston. The O’s were 2-13 since July 4 in one-run games until last night.
* Danny Valencia had a pair of doubles. Since his latest recall from Triple-A on Aug. 19. Valencia has made three starts and is 7-for-10 with three doubles, raising his average from .216 to .274.
* Jim Johnson had not pitched since last Friday, but picked up his 41st save. Johnson has now recorded back-to-back saves in those two outings, throwing a total of 20 pitches, 16 for strikes in the two games.
Has Johnson turned a corner finally? Are you feeling more encouraged about the O’s playoff push this morning?