Rain and the Baltimore Orioles rock the yard


If I’m Buck Showalter I’m not too happy about my starting pitcher in essence having to warm up twice to start the game. The Baltimore Orioles began last night’s game approximately 20 minutes late after some showers came through the area. Bud Norris faced one batter which resulted in a bizarre play and a base hit, and then another band of showers came through which resulted in the umpires calling for the tarp. (Hamilton reached on an infield hit and in the process collided with first base umpire Mike DiMuro, causing him to leave the game.) Two hours later, the game resumed in the top of the first.

These decisions are always tough on managers because they have to figure out if they’re going to send their starter back out there. Norris of course sat through a three hour delay a couple of weeks ago in Chicago, only to find out that he was coming out of the game. However Showalter wasn’t about to remove him after one batter, so he sent Norris back out there – and he was effective. Norris’ line: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K.

The Orioles luckily put some runs on the board early, possibly taking advantage of the fact that Cincinnati’s players were in a damp mood given the conditions. Nick Markakis scored on Nelson Cruz‘s RBI-single in the last of the first, as did Alejandro De Aza (who was also making his Oriole debut) on Chris Davis‘ RBI-single. Cruz would later score on Jimmy Paredes‘ ground out, which also sent Davis to third base. Caleb Joseph‘s RBI-single would bring Davis home, and the O’s were off to a 4-0 lead.

Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Just for good measure, Jonathan Schoop would start the second inning with a solo home run to put the O’s up 5-0. However at that time the floodgates seemed to close, and Cincinnati starter Mat Latos seemed to buckle down and get into the game. But the O’s didn’t realize how lucky they were to have that Schoop homer until the end of the game. Cincinnati would load the bases in the eighth on a walk, a Jimmy Paredes error, and a hit batsman – off of Darren O’Day. Bruce would then come to bat and he promptly sent the second pitch he saw over the right field wall to cut the Orioles’ lead to 5-4.

Cincinnati would also put two runners on in the ninth against Zach Britton, however Todd Frazier grounded into a game-ending double play and the Orioles breathed a sigh of relief and recorded a very long victory. The eighth inning came across as a rare mishap for O’Day, who for the most part has been solid. (And for the record one of those runs was unearned.) But given the conditions and the longevity of the night overall, one might understand how a reliever might have an off night in a sense. At this stage of the game it’s really just about winning to keep the division race as non-competitive as it’s been. The Orioles did that last night – and into this morning.

The series continues tonight with Miguel Gonzalez taking the ball for the Orioles. He’ll be opposed by Dylan Axelrod of Cincinnati, with game time set for just after 7 PM.