Baltimore Orioles go 5-0 on Manny Machado’s bat

Courtesy of Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Orioles defeated Tampa 5-3 to start the season at 5-0 on the heels of a Manny Machado home run.

Throughout the first week of the season the Baltimore Orioles have gotten contributions from various players to win games, and yesterday was Manny Machado‘s turn. But let’s snap forward to the end for just a moment. With the 5-3 win and the sweep of the truncated series with Tampa, the Orioles now have the best record in baseball at 5-0.

On that note I want to throw out a few words of caution to Orioles’ fans. In short, don’t get too hung up on the undefeated start. It’s noteworthy for sure, especially since it ties the best start in franchise history. However we all know that things can turn on a dime in major league baseball. This team will have it’s struggles this year just as every other team in baseball will do. It’s certainly a nice start – but nothing about which to get overly excited at this point.

Vance Worley got the start for the O’s, and was semi-effective for a few innings. Worley’s line: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K. Worley obviously didn’t stick around long enough to qualify for the win. This all but resembled a bullpen start, with Buck Showalter and the coaching staff not exactly expecting Worley to pitch deep into the game (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASN sports): 

"We were going to take him to about 80. Sixty-five was top in spring and probably take him 15 (more). He went about as far as he could go."

The O’s took an early 1-0 lead in the last of the second when Jonathan Schoop smacked an RBI-double to left. Later in the inning Joey Rickard‘s sac fly-RBI ran the score to 2-0 . But it was Machado’s two-run homer at the end of the second which all but sealed Tampa’s fate – in theory.

Worley started to tire in the fourth, with Tampa’s Dickerson smacking a solo

Courtesy of Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /

home run, Longoria an RBI-single, and former Oriole Steve Pearce with an RBI-single of his own. As suddenly as they had opened up a comfortable lead, the O’s only led by one at 4-3. As much as Showalter tried to get Worley in line to get the win, they ended up lifting him after four and two-thirds.

With the one-run lead, the Orioles went to the back end of the bullpen in the eighth, however Darren O’Day struggled a bit once he hit two outs. Tampa loaded the bases, however O’Day pitched out of a jam to preserve the lead. Machado would lead off the last of the eighth with a double, and eventually end up at third base. He would later score on a wild pitch to run the final to 5-3. 

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You have to tip your cap to the Orioles for the 5-0 start. And throughout those five games, they got contributions from different players across the board to win – yesterday it was Manny Machado. That’s a good sign. But again, let’s not get overly excited about this – long season! Obviously the Birds now hit the road for the first time this year, so that will be a new test.

J.J. Hardy returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore calf yesterday afternoon. However Adam Jones remained out of the lineup with an injury in his rib area. Buck Showalter said they’re willing to wait for Jones to be ready, and that he is in fact improving. If he needed to go to the DL, that DL stint would be backdated to last Thursday at this point. But obviously the hope is that he can start getting into the lineup again at some point soon. 

Next: Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis and company arrive in 2016

The Birds now head to Boston where they’ll start off playing Opening Day at Fenway this afternoon. Yovani Gallardo will get the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s David Price. Game time is set for just after 2 PM.