MINNEAPOLIS - The Orioles rallied from a six-run deficit to win tonight for the first time since June 25, 2010 against the Washington Nationals at Camden Yards.
“It’s not a club that panics,” manager Buck Showalter said after a 9-6, 10-inning victory over the Minnesota Twins. “I’ve told you many times. It’s a mature group, even though it’s the youngest team in our division. They stay within each other and do what they do. Guys don’t try to hit five-run home runs. Just got a lot of people who strung a lot of good at-bats together and kept grinding it out.”
“One of the keys for us was getting the innings out of Mac and Tommy,” Showalter said. “You look at that game, and to think you really only used two pitchers with the exception of Jimmy out of the bullpen, that’s impressive, the job they did over more than just one or two hitters.”
Johnson set the franchise record with his 35th straight converted save in the regular season.
“Jimmy has really been as solid as you can ask of anybody,” Showalter said. “Whether it’s a three-run lead or a one-run lead, he’s a guy who cares about doing the job for his teammates. I’m just proud of the way he handles his success. Jimmy acts like it’s the first save he’s ever had. It’s never a look-at-me mentality. It’s look at our team. I’m proud of Jimmy, and I know his parents are.”
Hunter got the win again tonight while extending his scoreless-innings streak to 14 2/3.
“Rick (Adair) and he and Matty (Wieters) have talked a lot about pitching instead of, we don’t just start to see how hard we can throw,” Showalter said. “He got a breaking ball strikeout with (Aaron) Hicks. He established the breaking ball to (Josh) Willingham, which allowed him to get him with a fastball. These guys can turn around bullets up here. I think understanding, sometimes I’ve got to pitch, instead of just, see how hard I can throw. And he’s capable of doing that.”
The Orioles finished with 18 hits - none of them home runs. They collected seven doubles.
“It’s one of the things people miss,” Showalter said. “It’s not like football or basketball, where you’re playing the same type of court of field every time with the same dimensions. There’s different conditions. You probably could make the case for how many home runs would have been hit tonight in our ballpark. Of course, they would have had a couple, too. But we played here.”
Manny Machado, who fouled a ball off his left ankle earlier in the night, broke a 6-6 tie in the 10th with a single into right field.
“I thought Manny showed a mature at-bat, not trying to do too much there,” Showalter said. “Worked him away and hard in.”
Hammel turned in his shortest outing of the season. He was charged with six runs in four-plus innings, but the Orioles spared him the loss.
“He had one real crisp inning,” Showalter said. “I thought he was getting ready to have another one, maybe give us five or six, but he hit Willingham with an 0-2 breaking ball.
“I think he’s having a little trouble repeating his delivery right now. He’s getting out of his delivery a little bit. Talking to Rick and watching, there’s some mechanical things you watch for with each pitcher once you get to know them. He’ll do it for a few pitches and then he’ll just get out of it. Rick was talking about his work day and warming up before the game as good as you’d want to see any guy warm up, but sometimes the emotions when you get out in a game kind of work against you.”