The Baltimore Orioles used a late home run by Adam Jones to seal the fact that they weren’t kidding when it came to coming back in last night’s game. But at the end of the day Seattle was on a mission on this night, and the O’s ended up falling 6-5 in extra innings. With the win, Seattle became the 15th out of 15 home teams to win yesterday. Since the 30-team era began, this was the first time that had ever happened – an interesting side note, I suppose.
Chris Tillman was sharp in the beginning part of the first inning. Then he was hit by a comebacker, and was never really the same. Tillman’s line: 2.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 2 K. To top it off, when Buck Showalter lifted Wieters he also yanked Matt Wieters out of the game due to a hamstring problem. While Tillman appeared to be okay as a result of the comebacker, the Wieters injury is something of concern. I can tell you from experience that hamstring injuries can take some time. Wieters is expected to be re-examined prior to this afternoon’s game, and won’t play before Friday at the earliest.
The Orioles took an early 2-0 lead on Jonathan Schoop‘s two-out two-RBI single in the first inning. However the last of the first brought a different story. After two quick outs, Nelson Cruz hit his MLB-leading 34th home run of the season to cut the lead to 2-1. Seattle proceeded to put two runners one (one of which was the result of the aforementioned comebacker), and Mark Trumbo smacked a three-run homer to give Seattle a 4-2 lead. They would extend that to 5-2 on Kyle Seager‘s sac fly-RBI in the second.
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Safeco Field being a pitcher’s park, Seattle might have thought that was all they needed. And for all intents and purposes they were probably right. In general the O’s were unable to mount much of a rally – that is unti the bitter end. With Gerardo Parra on base in the eighth inning, Adam Jones decided to make it interesting with a two-run homer that I mentioned above. That cut the Seattle lead to 5-4, and brought Chris Davis to the plate…
…and as it turned out, Davis and Jones went back-to-back with home runs. That tied the once one-sided game at five, and gave us a new ballgame. However as the game went into extra innings, Seattle used two singles (in the the tenth) to put runners at the corners, and Austin Jackson‘s RBI-single walked them off 6-5 winners. The series is now tied at one game a piece, with this afternoon being the rubber match.
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The O’s are still within striking range of New York and Toronto, however at a certain point it might even become a situation where taking two-of-three won’t be enough. I know that sounds crazy, however Toronto doesn’t show any signs of letting up and the O’s seem to be winning an losing on the same days as NY. Luckily for them, Toronto and NY play each other again this weekend (at Rogers Centre), so something will have to give one way or another.
Perhaps more concerning than the loss itself is the Wieters injury, which both he and Buck Showalter said had been bothering him for a few days. Matt Wieters felt that he left the game before it became a huge problem, but it’s still a concern. As I said above, hamstring injuries can be very painful as well as slow to heal. Unfortunately this could end up being a DL situation, however as I said if he’s able Wieters will be back on Friday.
The series in Seattle as well as the west coast swing culminates with a matinee this afternoon. The O’s are currently at 4-4 on the road trip, which means that today could be a huge swing game – ultimately winning and losing is the difference between a winning or losing trip. Kevin Gausman will be on the hill for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Seattle’s Hisashi Iawkuma. Game time is set for 3:40 PM.