Most players and coaches privately don’t like four-game series’ because it’s tough to sweep someone or even take three-of-four. But when you have a firecracker like Steve Pearce on your team, perhaps it’s not too difficult. Following a 56 minute rain delay to start the game, the Baltimore Orioles defeated Texas 5-2 to earn a four-game sweep. With the win and Toronto’s loss, the Birds are now tied for first place (with Toronto) in the AL East.
Wei-Yin Chen turned in a solid outing for the Orioles, coming off of a forgettable one this past Saturday against Tampa. Chen’s line: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K.
However as has been their pattern of late, the Baltimore Orioles came right back. Ryan Flaherty led off the last of the fifth with a double, which was followed up by Nick Hundley’s RBI-double to tie the score. Steve Pearce would then add an RBI-double of his own, and the Orioles had the lead for good. Pearce would also single in the seventh leaving runners at the corners for the Orioles, and Adam Jones‘ sac fly-RBI scored Nick Markakis and ran the score to 4-2. But go figure, Pearce wasn’t done yet – he proceeded to steal second base and
Steve Pearce went 4-for-5 on the night, and stole an above-mentioned base (which ended up leading to a run). The O’s are incredibly lucky to have been able to gerrymander their way into keeping Pearce earlier this season, which was a move that I know ticked off the team north of the border – who incidentally are now tied for first with the Orioles. I suspect that they’re looking at what Pearce has been doing and then looking at the standings thinking to themselves where they would be if they had managed to nab Pearce.
The Orioles have now found themselves in a bit of a pickle in that they’re supposed to be in Boston for a 1:30 PM matinee this afternoon on the 4th of July. For the record, the O’s are scheduled to throw Miguel Gonzalez at Fenway today, and he’s to be opposed by Jon Lester. However first off, it’s unclear if the game will be played; there’s a threat of heavy rain all day in Boston, especially this afternoon. So we might be looking at a day/night doubleheader tomorrow, or even a makeup date later in the season (the O”s return to Fenway once more this season).
But due to last night’s rain delay, the O’s were struggling to get a plane to take them to Boston immediately following last night’s game. At one point Showalter told MASN that the earliest they’d be able to get a flight might have been 2 AM. So as this article is being written, it’s unclear if the Orioles are in Boston, Baltimore, or anywhere else. Showalter also said that they were looking into trains as well as buses, but the travel plans seemed to be in a constant state of flux. Having said that, don’t rule out the possibility that Steve Pearce could have flown the plane on his own and gotten them there.
The schedule has not been kind to the Orioles in terms of travel, start times, etc, so this should come as nothing new to them. If you recall the last time the O’s were at Fenway they had a Sunday night game followed up by an 11 AM Patriot’s Day matinee against Boston. It goes without saying that the Orioles will get to Boston in time for today’s scheduled start time, however one has to wonder if the BoSox won’t hold out just a bit longer in a rain delay to start the game in an act of gamesmanship so to speak. But knowing Buck Showalter and this group of players, they’ll be ready to go regardless of when it is.