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Top 10 Games of 2012

We rank the most memorable moments from last year.

1. Oct. 8, Camden Yards, ALDS Game 2
Orioles 3, Yankees 2

Before the season, not even the most O-ptimistic fan could have envisioned 48,187 euphoric fans screaming at the top of their lungs from the first playoff pitch to the last.

“It was so loud the place was actually shaking,” catcher Matt Wieters said.

2. Oct. 11, Yankee Stadium, ALDS Game 4
Orioles 2, Yankees 1

Fittingly, Baltimore’s last victory of the season came in extra innings. The team’s remarkable 16 straight extra-innings wins epitomized its never-say-die attitude. 

In the 13th, J.J. Hardy’s RBI double sent the sulking New York faithful quietly to the exits.

3. Oct. 5, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, AL Wild Card
Orioles 5, Rangers 1

Fifteen years after its last playoff victory, four different Orioles recorded RBIs to propel the team to a wild-card win. Joe Saunders started, and three relievers finished off the win. “These guys genuinely like each other and respect each other,” manager Buck Showalter said. “They don’t have that disease of ‘me.’”

4. May 6, Fenway Park
Orioles 9, Red Sox 6

More than five hours into an epic game, Showalter, having used his entire roster, sent designated hitter Chris Davis to the mound to pitch. After Adam Jones homered in the 17th, Davis induced a double-play ball to become the first AL position player to earn a win since 1968.

5. Sept. 6, Camden Yards
Orioles 10, Yankees 6 

The Orioles unveiled a statue of Cal Ripken Jr. on the anniversary of the shortstop’s Iron Man record-setting game. The atmosphere inside Camden Yards harkened back to that historical night as well. A sold-out crowd brought postseason energy, and the team responded by blasting six homers to beat the hated Yanks.

6. Sept. 18, Safeco Field
Orioles 4, Mariners 2

After a doubleheader’s worth of baseball—in one game—reserve catcher Taylor Teagarden blooped a single in the 18th inning to give the O’s a key
pennant-race win. “It was a crazy deal,” Teagarden said. “Sometimes you just get thrown into these situations and you don’t have time to think. You just have to react.”

7. Apr. 6, Camden Yards
Orioles 4, Twins 2

Opening Day in Baltimore is always a citywide celebration of baseball and the coming of spring. The sellout crowd that watched Jake Arrieta pitch a gem under sunny skies had no idea what magic the ensuing 161 games would bring, but on this warm spring Friday, a 4-2 start was satisfying enough.

8. Aug. 10, Camden Yards
Orioles 7, Royals 1

The Chosen One picked his second game to announce his presence with authority. One night after making the most anticipated Orioles debut since Matt Wieters in 2009, Manny Machado hit his first two career home runs. “I was fortunate, and I took it in as much as possible,” he said.

9. Sept. 13, Camden Yards
Orioles 3, Rays 2

Those who played hookie from work to catch this Thursday afternoon businessman’s special made very good use of a sick day. Manny Machado’s hit in the 14th inning gave Baltimore a walk-off win over division rival Tampa Bay and snapped the O’s streak of 14-straight losing seasons.

10. Sept. 26, Camden Yards
Orioles 12, Blue Jays 2

The O’s blasted a team-record tying seven home runs, and when 20-year-old Machado and 42-year-old Jim Thome both went deep in the 5th inning, they became the first teammates in AL history with an age difference of more than
20 years to homer in the same inning.