The Baltimore Orioles got a quality start out of a starting pitcher for the third consecutive game in last night’s 6-0 victory over the BoSox. This time around it was Wei-Yin Chen who did the honors; Chen’s line: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K. The key for Wei-Yin Chen last night was getting strike one, which immediately swings the at-bat in favor of the pitcher and puts the hitter on the defensive. He also commanded most of his pitches in the bottom of the strike zone, which made them tough for Boston to hit.
Steve Pearce set the tone for the night with a classic professional at-bat which drew a one-out
walk in the last of the first with one down. Adam Jones then came up and promptly scorched an RBI-double to left field. Boston had been playing Jones shaded towards right field, and he was able to put the ball so deep that it got to the wall before left fielder Brock Holt could get to it.
Jones stood on third base later in the inning with two down, and Chris Davis at the plate. Boston played a shift on David, in effect giving him the left field line. Whereby many Orioles fans were probably waiting for another bunt, Davis sat on a fastball – and got it on 1-1. Davis slammed the ball into the right field grandstand, and the Orioles led 3-0 early on.
Nick Hundley would stroke an RBI-single in the fourth inning, and the Orioles had a 4-0 lead. The did manage to go up 5-0, albeit very briefly. Nick Markakis appeared to record an infield hit with two outs and runners in the corners. However after an instant replay review the ruling was overturned, as replays showed that Dustin Pedroia had the ball on second base prior to Nick Hundley getting to the bag. It was a close call, but in my view it was the right one.
Almost on command, the skies began to open up after the top of the seventh and we had another hour plus rain delay. Once play resumed the O’s put two runners in scoring position with one down in the last of the eighth. Boston purposely walked Manny Machado, however they they proceeded to walk Jonathan Schoop on four consecutive pitches to put the Orioles ahead 5-0. Nick Markakis subsequently drew a walk as well, to put the final score at 6-0. Zach Britton got the call from the bullpen in the ninth, although it was not a save situation.
This game featured Manny Machado hitting seventh in the order for the first time in awhile. Machado had hit second for all of last season and thus far in 2014, however of late he’s been struggling. Buck Showalter said that he wanted to take advantage of Steve Pearce‘s hot bat in the two hole, and that seemed to pay dividends. During the rain delay Rick Sutcliff of ESPN said that he felt the Orioles’ rotation was really coming together well, and the three consecutive quality starts would certainly indicate that.
The O’s will now play perhaps their biggest series of the season to date, as the division-leading Toronto Blue Jays come to town. The O’s currently sit in second place, 4.5 games back of Toronto – who’s actually started to struggle just a bit in the last few days. Kevin Gausman will get the starting nod tonight for the second time since being recalled. He’ll be opposed by Mark Buerhle.