The road woes came to an end for the Orioles at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, N.Y., on Friday night as they edged the Blue Jays, 6-5, in 10 innings. The victory snapped Baltimore’s franchise-record 20-game road losing streak and six-game overall skid.
The game was tied at 5, when the Orioles scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning. With the bases loaded and Blue Jays right-hander Trent Thornton on the mound, Pat Valaika walked and drove home Trey Mancini.
“I’m going to keep promoting walks. We need to walk more,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.
Orioles reliever Cole Sulser picked up his second save of the season, and what a job he did. With runners on first and second and no outs, Sulser was able to induce Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to hit into a double play. Teoscar Hernández followed and struck out to end the game.
It’s been a while since the Orioles shook hands after a victory. Afterward, one could hear loud music in the clubhouse, and that was controlled by DJ Freddy Galvis. As Hyde put it, the victory was like winning a Wild Card game.
“Rightfully so. We haven’t had much to celebrate lately,” Hyde said. “These guys have been busting it. It’s been really hard. No doubt about it. This is only one of 162, but everybody knew that we were losing a ton of games on the road. We had a really tough couple of months. For us to win in that kind of fashion, it means a lot to our guys. It’s fun to see smiles on their faces again.”
Matt Harvey, who received a no-decision, enjoyed a beer after the game — which tasted better after a victory, he said.
“Winning a Major League game is a lot of fun. … We’ll definitely remember what winning is like again and get back out there tomorrow and try to keep that streak going.”
It was a game where the Orioles also showed that they don’t give up easily. Take the top of the eighth inning: Baltimore was down, 5-1, and then tied the score at 5 off the Blue Jays’ bullpen. With Tyler Chatwood on the mound, Ryan Mountcastle singled to center, scoring Cedric Mullins.
Left-hander Tayler Saucedo entered the game for Toronto, but couldn’t keep the Orioles at bay. Pinch-hitter Anthony Santander made it a two-run game when he singled to left field, scoring Galvis. Next thing you know, the game was tied at 5, thanks to a two-run double by Austin Hays.
“We haven’t had those types of innings very much,” Hyde said. “We put together a good offensive inning against the bullpen. That was fun.”
It was also a game that saw Harvey give the Orioles length for the first time since a May 1 win against Oakland, when he went 5 2/3 innings.
Against the Blue Jays, Harvey allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings, but it was the long ball that haunted him. In the second inning, George Springer gave Toronto a 1-0 lead with a solo home run over the center-field fence.
The Orioles would tie the score in the top of the third inning, when Pedro Severino scored on a double-play ball hit by Galvis.
But in the bottom of the inning, Toronto retook the lead when Guerrero homered over the center-field fence, his 25th homer of the season. An inning later, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. reached base on an infield single, scoring Randal Grichuk, who tripled with two outs.
“He only punched out two, but he was making quality pitches and facing a difficult lineup. He has a big smile on his face, too,” Hyde said about Harvey.
Harvey said he was able to locate the ball on the inside part of the plate.
“I was able to limit the damage. Like I said, pitch inside, get some ground balls. The guys made unbelievable plays behind me,” Harvey said. “It was an unbelievable team win for us. It was something we really needed.”