Baltimore Orioles’ bullpen blows a rare moment
Chris Tillman was finally able to solve the problem that’s been Toronto for the Baltimore Orioles. He for the most part kept the hot Toronto lineup in check during his outing, and put the Birds in a great position to win the game. Tillman’s line: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K. However in a rare moment of weakness, it was the bullpen which cost the Orioles the game.
Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Tillman began somewhat inauspiciously in the sense that he surrendered a solo home run to Edwin Encarnacion in the top of the first. However he also minimized the damage by allowing only that run. Then came the last of the inning, when the O’s got a three-run homer from the least likely of candidates – Ryan Flaherty. That gave the Birds a 3-1 lead, and put them in the driver’s seat.
Call to the Pen
Perhaps it’s unfair of me to say that Flaherty is an unlikely source for a home run. After all he did have a big homer in Washington last week. There are a lot of fans who tell me that they question why Ryan Flaherty’s on the team. He doesn’t come through all the time, but nobody does. But you don’t know that you need him until you need him. However in the tradition of Tom Matte with the Baltimore Colts, he can come through in the clutch with the best of them.
The Birds lifted Tillman with one out and one on in the eighth. Speaking for myself, I would have thought a game in which the starter made it that far and that good would have been a win. However this Toronto team refuses to lose to the Orioles. Darren O’Day gave up an RBI-single to Revere, which cut the lead to 3-2 (that run was charged to Tillman). Jose Bautista then smacked another RBI-single to tie the game – Bautista was tagged out trying to advance to second base.
Justin Smoak reached on a fielder’s choice in the ninth, allowing a runner to score from third. That gave Toronto a 4-3 lead, and a 4-3 win at that – with Brad Brach taking the loss. These types of games are difficult to stomach if you’re the Orioles, however needless to say perhaps the bullpen is as tired as some of the bats in the lineup right now. However as I said, Toronto just refuses to lose to the Orioles, and I suspect that has a lot to do with it.
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Miguel Gonzalez will make his first start in some time after coming off the DL tonight as the series continues. He’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Marcus Stroman. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.
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