BOSTON -- The Orioles were out-hit, 15-10, Wednesday night, yet they beat the Red Sox, 5-3, in 12 innings.
How? A big hit by Chris Davis and a group of relievers who feel like they can be aggressive with an incredible defense behind them.
The Orioles didn't make an error Wednesday for the 114th time in 151 games this season, breaking the record for most errorless games in a season since 1900. The 2008 Houston Astros previously set the mark at 113 games.
While errors have become one of many defensive statistics over the years, the Orioles also rank high in ultimate zone rating, coming in at second in the Majors with 51.5. The Royals rank first with a UZR of 72.2.
"We take a lot of pride in our defense," said Davis, always an offensive weapon who has turned into a solid first baseman. "That was something going into Spring Training -- we thought we had a good defensive team and we started working on it then. We had a few miscues here and there, but for the most part, we've been pretty solid all year. And I think our pitching staff appreciates that, knowing you can go out there and throw strikes and your defense is going to play well behind you."
Manny Machado, once a shortstop prospect, is currently leading Major League third basemen in UZR with a rating of 31. Shortstop J.J. Hardy ranks fifth among American League shortstops with a UZR of 5.5. Nate McLouth and Adam Jones have played above-average in the outfield. Brian Roberts has made just one error in 476 innings at second base.
And with Matt Wieters behind the plate, teams like the Red Sox rarely attempt to steal against the Orioles. Wieters has caught 24 of 67 (36 percent) attempted basestealers this season.
"We've got guys like Hardy and Jones and Wieters, who take so much pride in it," manager Buck Showalter said. "It's easy to bring a guy like Manny up here [and ask him to play third]. It's easy to talk to Chris about really being the defender he's capable of being. A lot of people forget Nick [Markakis] was a pitcher/first baseman out of college. He's worked hard at being a good outfielder. Nate McLouth has won a Gold Glove.
"Every team has gotten so much better defensively. It's something when the year is over [we may appreciate it more], but right now, it's part of something we have to do in order to win baseball games."