Baltimore Orioles: Tough hours in Birdland

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Photo: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

1) David Lough walks off Boston amid tensions

On April 25th the O’s found themselves with a 3-2 lead against division-rival Boston in the top of the ninth. However a few simple missteps, including a Manny Machado error, led to Boston scoring a run and foiling what was to be a big win. To make matters worse for the Orioles, Xander Bogaerts homered in the top of the tenth to give Boston a 4-3 lead.

However baseball rules tell us that the home team always gets the last at-bat. So in the last of the tenth Adam Jones put the crowd right back into things with a triple. He would later score on Chris Davis‘ sac fly-RBI, and we were once again tied. That brought David Lough to the plate, and he provided his first ever walk off home run. The deep shot over the right field wall sent Camden Yards into a frenzy, and it gave the Orioles an improbable 5-4 win.

This game is notable of course because it was played under heavy duress in the city of Baltimore. Tensions from the Freddie Gray death in the city began to boil over, as protesters converged onto the Camden Yards site – even before the game. Stores were looted, windows broken, and violence broke out. Quite frankly it’s a good thing that the game went to extra innings, as at one point the Baltimore City Police ordered all people at the game to remain in the ballpark until further notice. (By the time the game actually ended that order had been lifted.)

Through twitter and other social media, most of the fans in the ballpark were aware of what was going on outside. So this was a good moment for the city in a sense, because it gave Baltimore something to hang it’s hat on – the walk off win, that is. At the time we thought that might have been the worst of the tensions, however unfortunately that wasn’t to be the case. But the walk off home run capped off a tough evening for the city in a nice manner.

Next: The game with no fans