O’s Split First Half of Series with Tigers, Should Have Had Both
Friday: Orioles 6 Tigers 5
The O’s continued their surprising winning streak with a good win over the Tigers. The offense had scored 5 runs before the 4th inning off a couple sac flys and a couple homers. The homers came from a solo shot by Hardy and 2-run homer by Adam Jones. It was 5-0 until Britton gave up a run in the bottom of the 4th on a double play (unfortunately). Then he allowed 4 runs in the next inning including a 3-run home run.
Luckily for Britton, he still got the win, as did the Orioles because of one of my absolute favorite players on this team. In the top of the 6th, after the 4-run inning by the Tigers, Adam Jones started it off with a lead-off single. Reynolds struck out and then AJ stole second. Chris Davis grounded out, moving AJ to third and then Nolan Reimold came to the plate. He hit an infield single allowing Jones to score the go-ahead (and winning) run.
Again, the bullpen was lights out. Berken faced the minimum number of batters in 2 innings after giving up a lead-off single and getting the double play. Strop pitched the 8th, he gave up a double but struck out two to get out of it. And…lo and behold, if it wasn’t Mr. Can’t-Save-Anything himself come in for the 9th and gasp! get the save! He also did it with 3 straight outs. A ground out, a fly out, and a ground out. Maybe he knows his time with the team is limited and not just in the closer role so he’s doing his best to make a case for himself for next season? I’m not sure but that’s definitely a topic I’ll get into over the off-season.
Saturday Tigers 4 Orioles 3
This was a great game. It went to 11 innings and unfortunately the O’s couldn’t get it done but that’s okay. It was a great pitching match-up. Alfredo Simon bounced back from an awful start with an awesome one going 8 innings giving up 6 hits and 3 runs, 2 coming off a 2-run homer by Cabrera. Johnson took care of the 9th but the Tigers’ bullpen did its job as well so we went to extras. In the top of the 10th, the Orioles went down in order. But, the same went for Detroit thanks to Willie Eyre. In the top of the 11th, it looked like the O’s would pull through again because of a lead-off double by Nick Markakis. Guerrero walked but thanks to the very UN-timely hitting by Matt Wieters, he grounded into a double play followed by a ground-out by Adam Jones to end the inning. Willie Eyre came back for the bottom of the 11th, gave up a lead-off walk followed by an out and a single. So with men on 1st and 2nd and one out, Showalter put the other guy in the ‘pen who’s been looking good Zach Phillips in. The first guy he faced, he gave up the game-winning single to Victor Martinez.
Although they lost, they still looked good and it would have been interesting if Eyre had stayed in to see what would have happened. Tonight, it’s Guthrie vs. Verlander so I don’t expect a win seeing as he’s the best pitcher in the AL.