Baltimore Orioles, Chris Davis see royal beaning in big win
For once, the Baltimore Orioles and Chris Davis were able to play their game against Kansas City. And make no mistake about the fact that the looks on the faces of the Kansas City platers was one of shock; they were supposed to bloop and bleed the O’s to death – the script they were issued didn’t read to the effect that the Orioles would bludgeon them with their power. And come the end of the game, it was obvious that they didn’t really care for the new world order that the O’s instituted last night.
Mike Wright had his struggles last night, but gave the O’s five tough innings. Wright’s line: 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 2 K. At first it appeared that Kansas City was going to get their way in that they’d add a run here and a run there. They started out with a Cain homer in the first, a fielder’s choice-RBI off the bat of Rios, and an Escobar RBI-double (both in the second) to take a 3-0 lead.
Dariel Alvarez led off the third with a solo homer (the first of his career), and an inning later Joseph grounded into a fielder’s choice-RBI. That cut the lead to 3-2, although Cain decided to run it to 4-2 with a sixth inning lead off homer of his own. Granted the Orioles put a run across in the last of the sixth when Joseph grounded into another FC-RBI, Rios ran the score to 5-3 with a solo homer in the seventh.
The teams traded runs in the last of the seventh and top of the eighth, which was just fine with Kansas City given that they held a two-run lead at 6-4. But in grand fashion, the O’s decided that they just weren’t going to allow Kansas City to own the night. With one out in the last of the eighth, Nolan Reimold stepped to the plate. With one swing of the bat, he put Kansas City on notice to the effect that the Birds and their fans weren’t really thrilled with their act – dating back to last year’s ALCS. Reimold’s grand slam gave the Orioles the lead at 8-6.
That was a huge momentum swinger, and suddenly the Birds were in the driver’s seat. But wait – there’s more! The O’s would also get a solo homer by Machado, and an RBI-double by Pearce to run the score to 10-6. The Birds then managed to load the bases again, and they were abruptly cleared by a second grand slam in the eighth – this one off the bat of Steve Clevenger.
That was perhaps the type of inning that this team had needed for some time. It effectively ended the competitive part of the game given that it would take a miralce for Kansas City to replicate the grand manner in which the Orioles put up all of those runs. Unfortunately, part of what set up the second grand slam was an incident that probably didn’t need to happen.
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Adam Jones singled immediately after the Machado home run, and Kansas City pitcher Franklin Morales decided he had seen enough. Chris Davis came to the plate, and was plunked in the back. Davis angrily slammed down his bat and headed to first base. That reaction seemed to cause home plate umpire Mark Carlson to warn both benches – which set Buck Showalter off.
Courtesy of Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Perhaps justifiably so, Showalter’s point of contention was that his team was being punished for being hit. In effect, the Orioles shouldn’t have been warned in that scenario – only Kansas City. And that’s a very valid point. Showalter proceeded to inform Carlson that Morales should have been ejected (without the warning) in that situation, a move that eventually got Showalter ejected. And if what happened a few moments later is any indication, I think Carlson might have actually been swayed by Showalter’s point.
With two on and two out in the ninth (and the Orioles leading 14-6), Mychal Givens drilled Kendrys Morales to load the bases – on the first pitch of the at-bat. Baseball is a game that has always operated witth a sense of “frontier justice” in a sense; was that hit batsman intentional? I sure think it was. But the fact that Givens wasn’t ejected is very telling. Mark Carlson had already issued warnings, and thus Givens should have probably been tossed. But I think Carlson understood and accepted this for what it was: an enforcement of baseball’s unwritten codes.
Some will point to the fact that Moustakas smacked a two-RBI single to run the score to 14-8 (the eventual final) as a reason that you shouldn’t hit batters. But make no mistake about the fact that the Orioles weren’t happy with what happened. Showalter normally doesn’t call out the other team, even in situations like that. However his comments after the game made his point very clear (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
"You saw it. He got hit by a pitch intentionally. Chris has certainly had his share of that. It just happened in New York twice. You get to a point to where your nose is rubbed in it. Sometimes it’s harder to do what Chris did than what some other people might have done. It gets tough time and time again turning the other cheek, but our guys responded well to it."
Needless to say, both of those HBP’s didn’t need to happen. But the second one came as a result of the first. The series will continue this afternoon with Chris Tillman on the mound. He’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Yordano Ventura. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.
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