SEATTLE – Adam Jones hit a two-run homer in the top of the 11th inning and the Baltimore Orioles won their 15th straight extra-innings game with a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.
A night after the teams played an 18-inning marathon that lasted nearly 6 hours, Jones, a one-time Mariners prospect, gave Baltimore a huge boost in its race with the Yankees for the lead in the A.L. East. Even with New York sweeping a doubleheader from Toronto on Wednesday, the Orioles stayed just a half-game back in the division race. Additionally, the Orioles moved into the top spot in the A.L. wild-card race after Oakland was handed a 6-2 loss in Detroit.
According to the Orioles, with information from the Elias Sports Bureau, the 15 straight extra-inning wins is the longest streak since the Cleveland Indians won 17 straight in 1949.
Jones’ turned on a 3-2 pitch from Seattle’s Josh Kinney (0-3) and sent his 30th homer into the Baltimore bullpen in left field.
Jim Johnson pitched the bottom of the 11th for his major league-leading 45th save. It wasn’t a basic save, though, as Kyle Seager and Jesus Montero started the inning with singles. Johnson quickly rebounded to get Justin Smoak to ground into a 3-6-1 double play.
Michael Saunders walked, but was caught stealing by Taylor Teagarden trying to get into scoring position while pinch-hitter John Jaso never got the bat off his shoulder for the final out.
Baltimore was only able to reach the 11th thanks to Luis Ayala’s pitching in the bottom of the 10th. Seattle loaded the bases with two outs thanks to walks to Saunders, Trayvon Robinson and Dustin Ackley. Ayala (5-4) was brought in to face Franklin Gutierrez, who hit his fourth homer of the season in the fourth inning to account for Seattle’s only run. Gutierrez was able to work the count to 3-2, but Ayala came inside and forced a weak pop up to shortstop to end Seattle’s best scoring threat.
Nate McLouth singled with one out in the 11th ahead of Jones’ homer.