Baltimore Orioles fall in Toronto amid fireworks
It’s tough to win games when your pitching gets knocked around and you commit two errors in the field. That’s the bad news for the Baltimore Orioles. The good news was that if they can get that shored up a bit, things might turn around after last night’s 13-6 loss in Toronto. When you score six runs, you’re generally going to be in decent shape.
Bud Norris has had his struggles since spring training, but they came to a head last night. Norris’ line: 2.1 IP, 6 H, 9 R, 3 BB, 2 K. Edwin Encarnacion broke out of a slump in the last of the second with a solo home run, Ryan Goins added a two-RBI single, and Jose Reyes reached on a fielder’s choice on which the runner was ruled safe at the plate (a call that was upheld on the Orioles’ challenge). Later in that same inning, Toronto would put two more on the board after a double-steal and a throwing error by Caleb Joseph. That put the Birds in an early 6-0 hole.
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The O’s battled back in the third however, as Ryan Flaherty stayed hot with an RBI-double, and Steve Pearce grounded into a Fielder’s Choice-RBI. However Toronto was not to be denied on this night, as they they just kept adding on. Kevin Pillar added a two-RBI single and Ryan Goins an RBI-single in the last of the third, and Jose Reyes a sac fly-RBI in the fifth. Edwin Encarnacion would add another homer as well, and to their credit the Orioles would put a few extra runs on the board before all was said and done. Manny Machado had a sac fly-RBI, and a Fielder’s Choice-RBI. Ryan Flaherty and Travis Snider would score on a throwing error and a pass ball respectively.
Of course the part of the game everyone will remember was the last of the seventh which got a bit mre heated than it needed to. Buck Showalter brought in rookie Jason Garcia to pitch, and he threw behind Jose Bautista (this after hitting Edwin Encarnacion earlier). Anyone with any amount of baseball savoir faire should know that a 22-year old rookie (with no ax to grind with anyone, mind you) isn’t going to come in for mop up duty like that and purposely hit a guy – especially one of the best hitters in the game.
The umpire warned both benches, and Bautista proceeded to hit a two-run home run. After admiring the shot literally until it landed in the grandstand, Bautista proceeded to hot dog around the bases, deciding to yell at Ryan Flaherty at second base as he did so. Mind you, while Garcia didn’t appear to be throwing at Bautista, it’s easy to understand why he was upset. He’s seemingly had a problem with the Orioles for some time – for some reason. But some of his antics took it to another level last night.
Adam Jones saw Bautista showing up his pitcher and then his second baseman, and started slowly making his way into the infield and verbally confronted Bautista. The two appeared to continue their war of words after Bautista was back in the dugout. As the Orioles came off the field, the two continued yelling at each other, with Bautista wildly gesturing towards his back (where he felt the ball was aimed).
Courtesy of Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Buck Showalter immediately pulled Jones from the game, more in a precautionary manner than anything else. All the Orioles need is for Jones to get injured on a HBP, or to have things escalate even further and allow the league the opportunity to misinterpret something and suspend him. While Bautista and Jones never argued nose-to-nose or got into a physical altercation, it wouldn’t have been out of the realm of possibility. That’s a veteran move by a veteran manager. It shouldn’t go unoticed that Showalter got his guy out of dodge, whereas Toronto manager John Gibbons allowed his to chirp (and possibly further escalate the situation) for the remainder of the game.
After the game Buck Showalter didn’t directly address the situation aside from saying that while the pitch wasn’t intentional, he “knew what it looked like.” In response to that, Bautista seemed to put accountability for the entire escapade directly on the Orioles’ skipper in speaking with MLB.com’s Jamie Ross:
"It wasn’t OK for them even though Stroman was a rookie last year. And now that’s their defence because this kid is a rookie? I don’t buy it. I think it’s all planned out and premeditated and I think that they hide behind the way that their manager acts and conducts himself on the field. They’re going to continue to keep doing that until something comes down from MLB."
That was one of many things that Bautista said, including that he didn’t care what Adam Jones’ opinion was about things. Again, it’s understandable why he was upset. However his antics, and later his comments went above and beyond acceptability. He made his point by hitting the homer; the situation escalated from there onward due to him – NOT anything or anyone else.
The umpiring crew would be smart to issue warnings to both benches when the lineup cards are exchanged so as to attempt to head off any trouble. Whether or not that does the trick is anyone’s guess. Toronto seems to have a huge chip on their shoulders regarding the Orioles, and it’s been that way for some time. (Don’t forget that they tried to bait the Orioles into a fight during the division-clinching series last September when they had nothing to lose and the O’s had everything [to lose].) Ubaldo Jimenez will head to the mound tonight for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez.
Next: Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays: Live Stream, Start Time, TV Info and More 4/21/15