Baltimore Orioles fall to New York


The Baltimore Orioles needed a quality start out of starter Wei-Yin Chen last night in the wake of his difficult first game of 2015 last week. And the O’s got that quality start out of Chen, who pitched six strong innings. Chen’s line: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K. In effect, Chen made two bad pitches in the game – which I’ll get to in a moment. But his fastball had polish, and he mixed his pitches well, leaving the game with a two-run lead.

Last night was the first meeting of 2015 between these two AL East rivals, and also the first trip out of New York for Alex Rodriguez. And as expected, he heard if from the Camden faithful. But that bears no relevance to the game itself – per se. However ARod couldn’t have expected to have been received particularly well in terms of being in a visiting ballpark.

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New York took an early 1-0 lead on Chris Young’s hoer to left center field, which accounts for one of Chen’s bad pitches. However the O’s came back to tie the game in the last of the inning on Manny Machado’s RBI-double. Jonathan Schoop would then hit an apparent RBI-single to give the Orioles a 2-1, however Buck Showalter challeneged the play at second base where Schoop was thrown out advancing. That challenge was upheld, and Schoop was credited with an RBI-double.

As I said, Chen made two bad pitches – the second of those was in the fourth inning on a pitch that resulted in a Mark Texeira home run ball to tie the game at two. However as is usually the case, the O’s battled back. New York starter Michael Pineda was also capable of making a bad pitch. And that he certainly did, as Adam Jones got a hold of a pitch with a runner on and smacked it over the centerfield wall to give the Birds a 4-2 lead.

Buck Showalter opted to lift Chen after the O’s took the lead, bringing Tommy Hunter in from the bullpen. Hunter allowed two runners on, and then walked Jacobdy Ellsbury. He then proceeded to throw a bad pitch of his own, which unfortunately came with two outs and the bases loaded. And that pitch landed in the stands in right center field, off the bat of pinch hitter Stephen Drew.

That grand slam gave New York a 6-4 lead in the seventh. Drew pinch hit to begin with because Brett Gardener injured his wrist, and had to leave the game. Hunter was visibly angry at himself on the mound and after going back to the dugout. But that’s how this game works out sometimes, and you always have to take the good with the bad.

But the O’s weren’t out of it quite yet. They loaded the bases with one down in the seventh, and Alejandro De Aza gorunded into what could have been a double-play. However Caleb Joseph’s takeout slide at second delayed the relay just enough for De Aza to reach safely, scoring a fifth run for the Birds.

There was still time in the game, however New York turned one of the Orioles biggest bullpen weapons in 2014 against them in Andrew Miller. In pitching his third career save, Miller retired the final five hitters of the game to secure the victory for New York.

Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Make no mistake about the fact that the O’s shouldn’t have lost this game. Furthermore, in struggling a bit in these early season games, the O’s are also wasting Adam Jones’ strong start at the plate. Jones of course hit his third homer last night, and he’s batting .440 on the very young season. However it’s also worth mentioning that they started 1-4 last year. Obviously they got it together. And at some point, they’ll probably win a game or two that they otherwise shouldn’t have won.

The series with New York continues tonight with Miguel Gonzalez on the mound for the Orioles. He’ll be opposed by C.C. Sabathia, with game time being set for just after 7 PM.