SEATTLE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles weren't going to be denied a victory — or making history — even if it took 5 hours and 44 minutes to do it.
Taylor Teagarden stroked a pinch-hit RBI single to right in the 18th inning to help give the Baltimore Orioles a 4-2 comeback victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
The win allowed the Orioles (84-64) to pull within a percentage point of the Yankees (83-63) for the lead in the AL East. The Yankees were rained out Tuesday and will play a split double-header with Toronto on Wednesday.
Baltimore maintained a three-game lead in the wild-card race over the Los Angeles Angels, who beat Texas 11-3 in Anaheim.
The Orioles' success in extra-inning games might be one of the biggest factors keeping them in the playoff hunt. They have won 14 straight extra-inning games for the longest extra-inning win streak since the 1949 Cleveland Indians won 19 straight. Overall, the Orioles are 14-2 in extra-inning games this season, going 9-0 in them on the road.
"It's tough," said Nate McLouth, who had three hits. "When you start going that long, there's a part of you that has to fight the feeling, 'Oh, let's just get this game over with.' Especially in the position we're in. It's a really important game. It's hard to stay locked in that long."
McLouth opened the 18th with a walk off Lucas Luetge (2-2). With McLouth breaking toward second, J.J. Hardy sent a single through the right-side hole. McLouth continued onto third.
McLouth said it wasn't a hit-and-run.
"I felt like I could get the bag. He had a strike on him so he swung," he said. "It happened to go in a good spot."
Teagarden then lifted his game-winner down the right-field line. Hardy later scored on Mark Reynolds' fielder's choice.
Tommy Hunter (5-8) picked up the victory. And he did it with a little extra measure of 'good luck.' Just before taking the mound in the 16th, one of the hovering seagulls unloaded on his hat.
"Here I was minding my own business," Hunter said. "Guys were dying laughing. Then everyone said it was good luck. Then we won the game."
Jim Johnson worked the 18th to pick up his 44th save — most in the majors — in 47 opportunities.
"It's a challenge," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "It's a scenario you don't get into too much, but every now and then it happens. It's tough on both sides offensively. Everyone wants it so bad. We had so many opportunities. One more hit and the game's over."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter added, "that dugout was alive the whole time, the whole extra innings."
The Orioles rallied in the ninth off starter Erasmo Ramirez, who had allowed just two hits and was sitting on a 2-0 lead entering the inning. Pinch-hitter Ryan Flaherty and McLouth opened with singles to bring in closer Tom Wilhelmsen.