Davis and Cruz lift Baltimore Orioles to victory


It’s tough to say why teams are able to look so uninspired on one day, only to come back tot he ballpark the next day and look totally different. As Buck Showalter would point out, we’re dealing with human beings here. However after one of the toughest losses of the season on Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles came back to Camden Yards last night and found their moxie as they defeated Cleveland 8-4.

From the outset the one concerning aspect of the game was that Manny Machado was on the bench. Machado tweaked a groin muscle in Thursday night’s loss; he felt much better yesterday morning but the Orioles didn’t want to take any chances. Machado’s hope was to play in this afternoon’s game, however that still remains to be seen until the lineup comes out.

Buck Showalter didn’t want to risk losing Machado to the DL by him playing through a groin injury after he worked so hard to get back after his knee surgery.

Bud Norris improved his record to 3-4 with the win, although his outing provided some mixed results. Norris’ line: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 6 K. However keep in mind that Cleveland came into the game as one of the hottest teams in the league, so it’s not surprising that they were able to put some runs across and get some runners on base. Nelson Cruz gave the Orioles the lead in the last of the second with a solo homer, and one inning later Chris Davis‘ RBI-double scored Nick Markakis and Adam Jones. The Birds appeared to be off and running, however the Captains of the Cuyahoga still had a trick up their sleeve or two.

Lonnie Chisenhall‘s RBI-double in the top of the fourth cut the Orioles’ lead to 3-1. Following a groundout and a walk, Jason Giambi came to the plate – and he promptly homered, giving Cleveland a 4-3 lead.

At 43 years old, it was Giambi’s first homer at Camden Yards since August 23, 2008 – when he played for New York.

However the Birds seized the lead back an inning later. Adam Jones reached on an infield single,

Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

and Chris Davis sent the first pitch he saw deep into the Old Line State night, and along with it the fortunes of the Cleveland Indians for that game. There’s no denying that Davis is starting to become the Chris Davis we saw last season, even if only this week. Having said that, the Orioles will need to prepare for life without him again, even if only for a few days. Davis is expected to leave the team tomorrow to attend the birth of his first child, and he’ll be placed on the three-day paternity list (allowing the O’s to bring someone up from triple-A Norfolk). But I think most Orioles fans will forgive him for that; and Buck Showalter is the first one to tell a player that he belongs with his wife at such a time.

The O’s tacked on three runs in the seventh with Adam Jones scoring after Nelson Cruz reached on a fielders choice and an error. Chris Davis would score on J.J. Hardy‘s RBI-groundout, and Cruz would come into score on Delmon Young‘s RBI-double. Perhaps more importantly, the Oriole bullpen was solid once again T.J. McFarland, Brian Matusz, and Darren O’Day combined to pitch three innings and gave up one hit and one walk among them.

So as Buck Showalter says, “sleep fast.” The Birds turn right back around and play at 12:30 this afternoon following a night game. If that schedule appears odd to you, keep in mind that the Orioles scheduled the game at that time due in large part to the fact that the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four (which involves the University of Maryland no less) is being held at M & T Bank Stadium at 3:30 this afternoon. So if you’re attending this afternoon’s game my recommendation would be to use public transportation given the fact that driving and parking is going to be unbelievably difficult in and around the Inner Harbor today.

Ubaldo Jimenez will get the starting nod today for the Orioles, and in doing so will do something he’s never done throughout his career: pitched against his former team. These situations are always interesting; who has the upper hand, the former teammates who might know what the player is all about, or the player who undoubtedly knows his former teammates in and out? Tough call, but we’ll find out later today. Jimenez will be opposed by Corey Kluber.