Baltimore Orioles: Matt Wieters provided the spark


Gratned things started coming together in July, one would be hard-pressed not to notice the rise the Baltimore Orioles are making in the standings now and compare it to last year. The Birds looked lost in May, and they struggled to score runs. However it seems that since the return of Matt Wieters, they’ve been winning games and series’ left and right.

Miguel Gonzalez made his return from the DL yesterday in the series finale at Fenway Park, and held on to qualify for the win. Gonzalez’s line: 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 4 K. Gonzalez did struggle for just awhile after being given the lead, and when he would have looked for a shutdown inning. However he motored through that, got out of the inning, and helped the O’s to victory.

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    With Boston already leading 1-0, the O’s put to runners on base with one out in the fourth. Matt Wieters came to the plate – and much like his return itself sparked the Orioles, his bat did just that for the team in the game. Wieters would clear the bases with a three-run homer, and suddenly the O’s had a 3-1 lead. But it didn’t stop there; later in the inning J.J. Hardy‘s two-RBI double gave the O’s a 5-1 lead, and Ryan Flaherty‘s sac fly-RBI ran it to 6-1.

    However Gonzalez did struggle a bit in the last of the fourth, giving up a two-run homer to former Oriole Alejandro De Aza which cut the lead to 6-4. However he also buckled down after that home run, and made it through the inning. Of course it’s not lost on some people that the Orioles were facing Eduardo Rodriguez (whom they traded last year for Andrew Miller), AND that De Aza homered against them. Let’s just say that the home run ended up meaning little in the grand scheme of the game, and Rodriguez was ineffective. 

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    Ryan Flaherty, who had a great day at the plate, smacked an RBI-single in the sixth, and Chris Davis an RBI-double in the seventh. The O’s had an 8-4 lead, which was narrowed to 8-5 on Xander Bogaerts‘ RBI-double in the last of the seventh. TJ McFarland allowed another run to score on a wild pitch, and the O’s took an 8-6 lead into the later innings.

    Boston would put their leadoff hitter on in the last of the ninth, however Zach Britton would record three quick outs after that to close things out. The Orioles took two-of-three in Boston, which is tough to do – especially given the dimensions of Fenway. In fact, if not for one bad inning on Wednesday, they could have swept this series. 

    They now head home after a very successful road trip on which they went 5-7. And the hope is that Adam Jones will return to the lineup starting tonight – at least that’s what we’ve been hearing all week. The O’s are now in third place, 1.5 games out of first behind New York and Tampa.

    Wei-Yin Chen will return from his sabatical in the minors tonight to make the start for the O’s. He’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Cory Kluber. Game time is set for just after 7 PM at Camden Yards.

    Next: Baltimore Orioles: Well-Traveled Roe Diamond In The Rough

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