In my post yesterday, I went over the first half of the 4-game series with Detroit in which the Orioles split. The second half of the series was also split, ending with a loss today.
Saturday: Orioles 6 Tigers 5
In the night game of the day-night double header, the Orioles took the win, denying AL Cy Young favorite Justin Verlander his 25th win of the season. That’s right. The lowly Orioles beat the best pitcher in the AL. That’s pretty cool. Verlander went 7 innings, giving up 8 hits and 5 runs, in the no decision. The first of those runs came on a game lead-off solo home run by Matt Angle, a rocket that went flying 412 feet for his first major league career home run. Good for him. Mark Reynolds also went long for his 37th homer of the season to make it 5-0 by the 3rd inning. Guthrie then gave up 4 unanswered runs followed by a run given up by Strop to tie it at 5 in the 8th. However, in the top of the 9th, Chris Davis led off with a single and was replaced with Kyle Hudson as a pinch runner. Hudson got to 3rd on a wild pitch by Daniel Schlereth with two outs. Matt Angle finished the game like he started: with an RBI. This time, it came in small ball with a successful sacrifice squeeze to get the winning run. Kevin Gregg was, again, put in to get the save, and somehow, he did it again.
Sunday: Tigers 10 Orioles 6
Though the O’s lost this one, they had a chance to win it. Matusz started and lasted past 3 innings, he lasted 5 actually, but still gave up 6 runs and still got the loss. Coming in for him as a middle reliever was Brad Bergesen, who wasn’t much better, giving up 3 runs. The Tigers jumped to a 3-0 lead early but after a 2-run double by SS Pedro Florimon and an RBI single by Craig Tatum, we were all tied up at 3. It was a new game until Victor Martinez hit a 3-run homer to make it 6-3. The next inning, the Tigers hit another 3-run homer to make it 9-3. The Orioles looked like they may make it interesting after ANOTHER 3-run homer, this time by my guy Nolan Reimold, to make it a 3 run game, but Jonny Peralta added a solo home run to make it a 4-run difference and the Orioles couldn’t solve the Tigers’ bullpen.
Even though they ended their road series with a loss, they looked pretty good against a good team who wasn’t really trying too hard.
Another positive is that they’ve already gotten one more win than last season where they finished with 66 wins. They have 67 now and have the possibility of finishing 4 games better with 70 wins if they sweep the desperate Red Sox at home (very unlikely). Although this season is amounting to yet another losing season, it is a teeny tiny bit comforting to know they aren’t finishing worse off than last year because, I’ll tell you, it certainly felt like they were worse many times throughout the season.