If you were to ask Oriole fans what victory smells like, they would probably tell you it smells something like soft pretzels, coffee and Old Bay.
Such was the aroma at Oriole Park at Camden Yards Monday as the temperature dropped, fans stood at their seats and the Orioles took the win in the second game of the American League division series against the Yankees.
If they didn't smell or feel it when they walked through the gates, fans got a whiff in the third inning after the bat of right-fielder Chris Davis brought in two runners. It was arguably the moment in the game that made the difference.
Davis, who had 85 RBIs in the regular season, is the team's leader in that regard. As the Orioles needed someone to lead the charge Monday to even the series, it only seemed fitting that his single to left field provide the team the momentum needed to finish strong and go on the road to New York for the final games of the best-of-five series.
The Orioles won the game 3-2 with their other run coming in the bottom of the sixth on a Mark Reynolds single to right field.
"I think it was great for us just to get the momentum back in our corner and even the series going into New York," Davis said after the game. "We know it's going to be a hostile environment. We know it's going to be tough, but we gave ourselves a little bit of breathing room to go in there with the series tied."
While the win would not have been possible without the consistency Davis showed in the box Monday, he was quick to state that the win also would not have been possible without standout performances on defense and from the Oriole bullpen.
Wei-Yen Chen took the win on the mound for the Orioles. He threw a total of 112 pitches for 77 strikes. He had three strikeouts. Prior to Monday's game, his record against the Yankees was 1-2.
Also making an impact on the mound for the Orioles were relievers Brian Matusz and Jim Johnson. Matusz threw 29 pitches and had two strikeouts. Johnson was credited with the save as he got the Orioles out of the top of the Yankees' lineup in the top of the ninth with a strikeout of Alex Rodriguez.
Rodriguez was 1-5 on the night with two strikeouts.
"It was a total team effort," Davis said.
Going into New York, Davis says his comfort in the box and the comfort of the team as a whole shouldn't be a problem.
"There've been a few times that we've gone in there and we've been down early in the games and we've been able to battle back. That's been good for this team," he said.
As far as his own comfort level and his ability to consistently deliver on the offensive side of the game, Davis says it comes with not over-thinking situations and not trying to do too much.
"These guys are obviously pitching us really tough and runs are at a premium right now," he said. "So, I just want to get a pitch out over the plate and try to stay up to the middle with it and not try to do too much."
Top of 9th
PITCHING CHANGE: Jim Johnson in to close the game out!
Jeter grounds the first pitch to Hardy at shortstop and he's thrown out at 1st. One out.
Suzuki grounded up the middle to second base. He's out at 1st.
Rodriguez steps in with 2 down. He struck out swinging for the final out! ( more )