“[Hardy] made a good throw and we were in business, and Wieters, there was no way he was getting by him,” Jones said. “That was the game-saver. It allowed us to win. It uplifted the whole team. The whole team came off the bench after the bottom of the 16th. We were all pumped. That was the energy we needed.”
In the next half-inning, Jones launched his team-high eighth homer of the season over the Green Monster in left field off Darnell McDonald, another position player who was forced to the mound. Jones became the first Orioles player to hit a home run in the 17th inning or later since Andy Etchebarren in 1967.
Davis, who hadn't pitched since his days at Navarro (Texas) College — he did sign a letter of intent to pitch at Arkansas before being drafted by the Rangers — dodged trouble in the 17th, putting two runners on with no outs.
But he struck out slugger Adrian Gonzalez on three pitches and then induced a double-play ball from McDonald to end the game.
“He actually had good stuff, man,” McDonald said of Davis. “I was impressed. He had a lot of life on his ball, more than I expected. I don't know what's worse, giving up the three-run homer or grounding out into a double-play to end the game. He got the win and hat's off to him.”
Davis saved two game balls, one from his first strikeout and the game ball from the final out. The Orioles celebrated in the Fenway Park visiting clubhouse by giving Davis a shaving cream pie and a dousing him with beer.
“Oh yeah,” Jones said matter of factly. “He got his first major league win.”
The Orioles had their opportunities in extra innings, putting the leadoff runner on base in the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 15th innings, but couldn't advance in either inning. The Orioles grounded into four extra-inning double plays and six for the game.
Despite the end of its 232/3 scoreless-inning streak, the Orioles bullpen lowered its season ERA to a major-league best 1.41. They allowed just one run in 122/3 relief innings on the day and the Orioles received a pair of two-inning scoreless stints from Pedro Strop, Kevin Gregg, Matt Lindstrom and closer Jim Johnson. Lindstrom and Johnson haven't allowed an earned run this season in a combined 252/3 innings.
The game was long enough that the Orioles bullpen began a new streak of nine scoreless innings, including two from Davis.
“It starts with our pitching,” said Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, who homered twice and set a new career high with five hits. “Our pitching has been unbelievable, and that gives us a chance to go out there and score just enough runs. As long as our bullpen keeps doing what they're doing and our starters are going deep into ballgames, we've got a pretty good team here.”