If chicks dig the long ball, they must have loved last night’s Baltimore Orioles game in Houston, but for all the wrong reasons from the Orioles’ standpoint. Houston slugged six home runs to defeat the Orioles and starter Freddy Garcia, 11-7. On one hand, fans need to accept that games like this happen. I know that we say that a lot, however over 162 games in a sport like baseball you’re going to have some quirky things occur. However those six home runs didn’t go unanswered, as the O’s mounted a comeback effort which in the end fell short. It’s still one in the loss column which in the AL East this year is a huge problem, however there should be solace in the fact that the Birds didn’t go quietly into the night.
As far as short outings for starters go, this one was pretty short for Freddy Garcia. Garcia’s line: 3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 2 K. On one hand one could argue that Garcia was throwing strikes, however on the other hand those strikes were high in the zone. The Orioles took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on J.J. Hardy‘s RBI-single, however that was the Birds’ only lead of the game. By the end of the first inning they trailed 4-1 on two separate two-run homers, including one by old Orioles’ nemesis Carlos Pena who always seemed to sink the Birds when he was with Tampa. Garcia would give up two more solo homers before being lifted in favor of Steve Johnson without recording an out in the top of the fourth. However Steve Johnson ended up surrendering two solo home runs of his own as well, which tells us that it was just “one of those nights” where the Houston hitters were dialed in.
However in most cases that would effectively end the game; not against this Orioles’ team. Steve Pearce scored from first in the top of the seventh on an Alexi Casilla RBI-triple, and Casilla was later sacrificed home. Just to show that turnabout is fair play, J.J. Hardy smacked a homer of his own to bring the Orioles to within 9-4. That went to 11-4 after Houston put two more across in the last of the inning, however the Birds put three across (including two on a Wieters homer) in the eighth to close out the scoring for the night. Again, Houston’s hitter were really dialed in during last night’s game. It’s tough to say why that happens on occasion, but the fact that the Orioles got into the homer parade themselves says that the ball was really flying deep in the heart of Texas last night.
The best way to come back from a game like this is to get right back out and play, and the Orioles will have their chance to do that with a “getaway day” afternoon matinee in Houston today at 2 PM. Miguel Gonzalez will get the ball for the Orioles today, off of his big win last week against Washington. He’ll be opposed by Houston starter Bud Norris who dominated Anaheim last Saturday night. Nick Markakis will again be away from the team today as he tends to his family affairs surrounding his grandmother’s funeral. He’s expected to re-join the team on Friday in Tampa.