September 22, 2023

With the division title still in doubt, it wasn’t clear if the Baltimore Orioles would stage a big celebration when they merely clinched a postseason berth. After a win like this, how could they not? Cedric Mullins hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th inning, and the Orioles edged the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 on Sunday after both teams clinched spots in the playoffs. Cleveland’s win over Texas meant Baltimore and Tampa Bay were both in — but Orioles fans ended up with more to cheer about than just that.

Moments later, Adam Frazier doubled home the tying run in the bottom of the ninth off Pete Fairbanks to send the game to extra innings. That was the first of two occasions when the Orioles tied it while down to their last out. Adley Rutschman hit an RBI single for Baltimore in the 10th. “That’s exactly how we’ve played all year,” Mullins said after his team’s major league-leading 47th comeback win. “We pass it off to the next guy, and even if one guy doesn’t get through the other guy’s going to.” D.L. Hall (2-0) threw a scoreless 11th, retiring the Rays on a popup and two grounders. Ryan O’Hearn then sacrificed the automatic runner to third for Baltimore, giving Mullins a chance to win the game. His flyball to center off Jake Diekman (0-2) was easily deep enough to end it, touching off an on-field celebration in which the players wore orange shirts saying “TAKE OCTOBER” on them. The Orioles eventually made it into their clubhouse where they held a bubbly party with plastic protecting their lockers from getting soaked.