Baltimore Orioles: Adam Jones, nine-run 5th beats Oakland
Two home runs from Adam Jones was a huge part of the Baltimore Orioles’ 18-2 victory over Oakland, one of which came in the Birds’ nine-run fifth inning. Yes folks, you read that correctly – a nine-run fifth inning. This of course was an Oakland team that had given the Orioles fits the past two nights, with the O’s having to win in walk off fashion in both games. This afternoon that most certainly wasn’t necessary.
Wei-Yin Chen lasted only six innings, but mainly because if there’s one thing that Oakland did well today it was to foul pitches off. Chen’s line: 6 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K. However this game was decided well before Chen departed the game, and it’s entirely possible that these past few days in and of themselves might have even altered the destiny of the 2015 Orioles. Only time will tell us that.
Gerardo Parra set the tone for the day with a solo homer in the last of the first – his second in as many games. However for a brief moment, it appeared that Oakland would continue giving the O’s fits, as Sam Fuld‘s RBI-double in the second tied the game at one. The O’s did make what appeared to be a base running mistake in the last of the third, which in the past has come back to haunt them. With runners at the corners and one down, Henry Urrutia hit a Baltimore chop in the infield. Jonathan Schoop was caught off the bag at third, and eventually was tagged out.
Careless play by Schoop, right? He potentially could have scored on that play first off, but then ended up recording an out. However he did a very smart thing, and engaged the Oakland infield in a rundown. That allowed both base runners to move into scoring position with Caleb Joseph coming to the plate. And Joseph sent a two-RBI double to left field, which was followed by RBI-singles by Manny Machado and Parra (who
Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
had already homered). When the dust cleared, the O’s had a 5-1 lead…that is until Adam Jones made it 6-1 with his first home run (a solo shot) of the day.
And they never looked back – short of Brett Lawrie‘s solo homer in the fourth. But it was smooth sailing from that point onwards…for the O’s, that is. Then came the fifth inning, which as a spectacle not often seen in Birdland – or anywhere for that matter.
Chris Davis started things off with an RBI-single, which was followed by a Steve Clevenger ground out that yielded a run. Urrutia would add a two-RBI single, and then the Oakland defense started giving the O’s some additional help. Manny Machado popped up towards Coco Crisp in left; however Crisp appeared never call off SS Marcus Semien, who kept moving to the ball, which fell in between them and allowed two runs to score. It went as an RBI-double, however that’s an unforced error on Crisp. Infielders are taught to keep playing the ball until they’re called off by an outfielder – Crisp never called Semien off.
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So if you’re keeping score at home, the score was 12-2 at that point. However with that fifth inning still cooking, Parra (who went 5-for-6 on the day) added an RBI-double, followed by Adam Jones’ second home run of the day. This one was of the two-run variety, and it closed out the scoring in that fifth inning with the Orioles ahead 15-2. All in all, the Birds put nine on the board and sent 13 men to the plate in the inning.
The wind was out of everyone’s sails by then, and even the Orioles looked like they were ready to go home. But they couldn’t do so until Caleb Joseph added a two-run homer of his own in the last of the sixth, and Henry Urrutia added one final run with an RBI-single in the seventh. Towards the end Buck Showalter started shuffling around the lineup as to give the regulars some additional rest. So rule 5 pick Jason Garcia came in, and Steve Clevenger moved over to first base. This meant that the O’s surrendered their DH, and Garcia had to hit in the eighth.
To top it off, infielder Ike Davis was brought in to pitch for Oakland (presumably in a move to save the bullpen). So imagine the irony of having a relief pitcher with his first big league at-bat (he drew a walk), and he was pitched to by a position player. Baseball is a funny game at times.
As much as the no-hitter last week was only one game, so is this. However the O’s appear to be getting hot at the right time. Incidentally, they also tied a club record with 26 hits in the game. The series concludes tomorrow night with Chris Tillman on the mound for the Orioles. He’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Sonny Gray. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.
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