Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis delivers the magic


While the Baltimore Orioles took two-of-three from Cleveland a few weeks ago, the games were fairly hard-fought. Cleveland’s a scrappy team, even if their record might not necessarily indicate that in total. So Chris Davis and the O’s had to know that they were in for a tough game when the Tribe came to Camden Yards last night – and a tough game they got.

Wei-Yin Chen made his return last night after his “sabatical” to the minor leagues. First off let me say that far too much was made of Chen being sent to the minors for a short period, That was partially due to Scott Boras’ comments, however Chen had options, he struggled in Toronto, and the Orioles needed a roster spot. It’s pretty simple math. That aside, Chen had a couple of struggles last night, but ended up pitching well. Chen’s line: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K.

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Chris Davis being put on Bobby Bonilla payout plan by the Orioles
Chris Davis being put on Bobby Bonilla payout plan by the Orioles /


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  • If there’s one criticism of Chen that one could make last night, it’s that his slider wasn’t fooling anyone. And that’s not said so as to jump all over the guy; sometimes that happens. But a good pitcher will always adjust when it becomes obvious that a certain pitch isn’t working – and Chen did that. However Cleveland took a 1-0 lead when Brandon Moss hit a solo homer off of one of Chen’s sliders in the second inning.

    But the O’s are a pretty scrappy team also if they choose to be. Unfortunately for them, this was a night where they had to be just that – as opposed to getting out to an early lead. In the last of the second J.J. Hardy put Cleveland on notice that the O’s wouldn’t go into the night without a fight with a solo homer of his own to tie the game at one. I mentioned Chen’s adjustments above; unfortunately they came one pitch too late in the sense that Ryan Rayburn smacked another Chen slider out of the park (with nobody on base) in the fourth to give Cleveland a 2-1 lead.

    Hardy would figure into the game a bit later as well, when the O’s covered the corners with one out in the last of the sixth. Hardy was abe to get the ball in the air and deep enough to center field to allow Jimmy Paredes to score from third, and the O’s suddenly had a 3-2 lead. However this Cleveland team wasn’t going anywhere either, and Carlos Santana tied the game with his team’s third solo homer of the day in the top of the eight. 

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    Keep in mind folks, Orioles magic happens when you least expect it – that’s always been one of the marks of the “movement.” I would submit Delmon Young‘s bases-clearing double in the playoffs last year against Detroit as an example. So after losing the lead in the eighth last night, the Birds were left searching for that magic. And they found it – in the form of their big slugger.

    Jimmy Paredes led off the last of the eighth with a double, which brought Chris

    Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Davis to the plate with a runner in scoring position. Cleveland played Davis to center in this instance, ironically not paying any attention to the fact that Davis could pull the ball. But that’s exactly what he did; a sharp liner into right field scored Paredes and gave the O’s a 4-3 lead – which turned into a 4-3 win after the ninth inning.

    Maybe this wasn’t true Orioles magic in the sense that it wasn’t a walk off. But the concept has always been about late-inning heroics. And that’s what Chris Davis provided last night. The Orioles now stand a half game behind New York (who’s in second place in the AL East), and one game out of first.

    The one concern is that Adam Jones was still unable to play last night, but Buck Showalter said that they’re going to wait until tonight’s game (weather permitting) to run him into the lineup. Jonathan Schoop is set to come off the DL at some point either today or tomorrow, so I suspect that if Jones can’t play tonight he would go to the DL to make room for Schoop. However keep in mind that the DL stint would be backdated to last weekend, so Jones would be able to come off the DL in early July.

    The series continues tonight, that is if mother nature allows for it. Chris Tillman will once again try to get himself back on track with the start tonight, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Cody Anderson. Game time is set for 7:15 PM.

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

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