“Orioles Classics” #TBT: Comeback wins and marathon matches

With the strangest baseball season on record now in the books (congrats to the Dodgers), the offseason is now upon us. The Orioles have already made some roster moves, and more are almost certainly on the way.

And with COVID cases climbing again, the O’s and the rest of Major League Baseball also will likely be figuring out contingencies in case spring training and/or the 2021 season have to be delayed. So even though there won’t be any live games to see, baseball people will still be plenty busy over the winter.

Whatever the hot stove season holds, you know you can count on MASN to feed your diamond cravings with moments of past glory on “Orioles Classics.” This week’s offerings include power hitting from O’s stars past and present and a couple of extra-inning thrillers, one of which featured a surprising relief appearance from a Birds slugger.

So if you’re tearing your hair out trying to figure out how to safely assemble extended family for a Thanksgiving feast, take a break and relive some great moments - with real crowd noise and not that fake stuff - with us on “Orioles Classics.”

Friday, Nov. 6 - 9 a.m. - On Sept. 7, 2014, the Orioles spent four and a half hours duking it out with the Tampa Bay Rays. The O’s would head for Boston that night after a series-ending 7-5 win in St. Petersburg. Nelson Cruz, as he often did in his lone season with the Birds, led the charge, homering twice and accumulating a total of seven RBIs in 11 innings.

Saturday, Nov. 7 - 11:30 p.m. - Going out on a Saturday night still isn’t the best idea, given the second wind the pandemic seems to be getting. So here’s a healthy alternative. On Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, more than 35,000 were crammed into Fenway Park (remember when that sort of thing happened at ballparks?) to watch the Orioles take on the homestanding Red Sox. Chris Davis reached his highwater mark that night, belting his 51st home run of the season to break the club record. Danny Valencia tripled leading off the top of the ninth, and Matt Wieters brought him home with a sac fly. Jim Johnson recorded a save in the O’s 3-2 victory.

Sunday, Nov. 8 - 1 p.m. - The Orioles won their second walk-off victory over the Pirates in as many nights at Camden Yards on June 7, 2017, coming back from a 6-1 deficit. Trey Mancini showed plenty of star power, hitting a pinch-hit two-run home run to tie the score 6-6 in the ninth inning, then blasting a three-run shot in the 11th to ice the win.

Monday, Nov. 9 - 11:59 p.m. - Talk about your midnight madness. Trailing the Tigers 5-3 going into the bottom of the ninth inning on May 31, 2013, the Orioles bookended a four-run rally with home runs from Nick Markakis and Chris Dickerson, the latter sealing a walk-off win.

Tuesday, Nov. 10 - 3 p.m. - Nearly 46,000 people were on hand (heavy sigh) for opening day at Camden Yards on April 4, 2016. The Orioles kicked off their most recent playoff season with a 3-2 win over the Twins on the strength of Adam Jones’ two-RBI double and Wieters’ walk-off single.

Wednesday, Nov. 11 - 9 a.m. - This is one of those that, if you were watching it at the time, you remember where you were. On May 6, 2012, I was out for a postgame party with my daughter’s softball team, enjoying an adult beverage with the other parents while stealing peeks at this unbelievable game, which I had expected to be long over by the time we got there. Davis had a fruitless day at the plate but nonetheless emerged as the hero of the game. With the score at Fenway Park tied at six runs apiece after 15 innings, manager Buck Showalter’s bullpen was spent, so he called upon his first baseman to pitch. Davis threw two scoreless innings to earn the win over the Red Sox, and a legend was born.

Wednesday, Nov. 11 - 11:59 p.m. - It was mid-August 2014 and the Orioles were closing in on a division title. But on Aug. 13, Yankees starter Michael Pineda stymied the Birds through five innings, and Dellin Betances cruised through the sixth and seventh. Jonathan Schoop chased Betances with a one-out homer to tie the score at 2-2 in the eighth. Four batters later, Jones hit a three-run shot off Shawn Kelley. O’s closer Zack Britton weathered the Yanks’ ninth-inning rally as the Orioles banked a 5-3 win.

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