Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Caleb Joseph breaks team record in Baltimore Orioles' victory

Before yesterday’s game even started, Buck Showalter had a tough decision to make. Along with Dan Duquette, he had to option a good pitcher to Norfolk in a corresponding roster move after activating Ubaldo Jimenez from the DL. The Baltimore Orioles wanted to keep the bullpen as it was, so that pitcher ended up being Miguel Gonzalez. Showalter was the first one to say that this move wasn’t deserved; but the fact was that Gonzalez had options.

Jimenez got off to a fairly inauspicious beginning, walking two of the first three hitters. Johnny Peralta gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead with an RBI-double, and that lead was extended to 2-0 when John Jay homered in the second. However Jimenez was certainly bending – but he never broke. He made the crowd a bit uneasy at first, especially given who was optioned for him. However he got stronger as the game went on, and ended up recording a quality start. Jimenez’s line: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 5 K.

The Baltimore Orioles faced old nemesis, John Lackey, who of course had called out Nelson

Cruz the last time the O’s saw him in Boston last month. If Lackey had somehow forgotten that he made those comments, the Orioles and the crowd seemingly reminded him. (On a side note, I have to wonder how Lackey felt about Johnny Peralta, who was suspended last year in same biogenesis scandal as was Cruz, giving him a short-lived lead in the game?) The O’s cut the lead to 2-1 on Delmon Young‘s RBI-double, which scored J.J. Hardy in the last of the second. That brought catcher Caleb Joseph to the plate, and we got ready to see a bit of Orioles’ history made…

…Joseph hit the first pitch he saw out of the ballpark, giving the O’s a 3-2 lead. In doing so, Caleb Joseph broke a team record by hitting a home run in five consecutive games played (as a catcher). He was previously tied with Ramon Hernandez and Gus Triandos.

Given that a few months ago Joseph was thinking about quitting baseball, that’s a pretty impressive feat. /

Just to further remind Lackey of the hypocrisy of his comments, Nelson Cruz smacked a two-run homer in the last of the third. This is not to pile on Lackey too much; however it goes without saying that he might do well to heed Buck Showalter’s advice and “make sure things are kosher in his own house.” PED’s are a problem league-wide; it’s not just an Orioles problem or that of any other team. Lackey should have been smart enough to keep his mouth shut knowing that he could be playing with guys who used these drugs in Boston, or that he could one day be playing with guys on another team who used these drugs. Lackey was lifted in the sixth inning

Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

and left to a chorus of boos from the Camden faithful.

St. Louis would get a run back in the fourth on Jay’s sac fly-RBI, however this day belonged to the Orioles and their bats. J.J. Hardy added an RBI-single which scored Cruz in the fifth, and Delmon Young joined the homer parade with a two-run shot a few moments later to give the Orioles an 8-3 lead. Manny Machado would add an RBI-single in the last of the sixth, and Jonathan Schoop would score on a wild pitch in the eighth to close out a 10-3 victory over St. Louis.

Make no mistake about the fact that St. Louis is a good team, and the Orioles have manhandled them in the first two games of this series. Oriole bats have suddenly heated up and that has something to do with it for sure, however the Orioles have allowed St. Louis to make nary a peep in this series.

If the Orioles are able to win this afternoon’s series finale, they’ll have swept St. Louis and they’d run their record to 19 games above .500. Pretty impressive for a franchise that fluttered in the wind for so long. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the O’s this afternoon, and he’ll be opposed by St. Louis’ Lance Lynn.

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