Baltimore Orioles, Manny Machado rock a packed yard
The Baltimore Orioles finally got a good weather day at home, and both the fans and the likes of Manny Machado cooperated to make it memorable.
The Baltimore Orioles and Manny Machado have had the absolute worst luck thus far in 2016 when it comes to weather during home games. It seems that all but perhaps one or two games have been played under a light drizzle or at the very least the threat of rain. For once it seems, that wasn’t the case yesterday in the series finale against Oakland on Mother’s Day. And both Oriole bats, and Orioles fans did their part.
Over 43,000 people showed up at yesterday’s game on a beautiful afternoon. It almost felt like Opening Day in the sense that the crowd was so enthusiastic and the weather was finally so nice. Chris Tillman had a rough start to the game, giving up three runs in the first inning. However he ended up getting more than just a little help from his friends. Tillman’s line: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 7 K.
It appeared that this would be somewhat of a shootout in the sense that the O’s stormed back in the last of the first. It ended up being a game with a lot of runs, however we didn’t know that Oakland was done with their scoring for the day. Machado put Oakland and the fans on notice in the last of the first just what the Orioles had planned, with a two-run homer which cut the lead to 3-2. One inning later Pedro Alvarez hit what has to be one of the longest home runs in the history of Camden Yards (a solo shot) – it hit the warehoue on a bounce off of Eutaw St.
One batter later, the O’s had the lead – and they weren’t looking back. Jonathan Schoop smacked a solo shot of his own, and the Orioles led 4-3. One inning later it was Mark Trumbo‘s turn…except his came with a runner on, giving the Orioles a 6-3 lead. Are we sensing a theme yet?! Moving right along to the last of the fourth, Joey Rickart decided it was time for him to get into the act, and his modest solo home run gave the Birds a 7-3 lead.
Mind you, the way that Tillman got into a groove, that was enough. The Orioles had vanquished Oakland by that point in the day. You could see it on the faces of both teams. Oakland already had one leg on their team charter at BWI that was taking them to Boston after the game. They wanted no part in the rest of this game, and they seemed just fine dropping it 7-3.
But it was Manny Machado who provided the coup de grace in the last of the
eighth. As if the enthusiastic fans in the grandstand hadn’t already seen enough souvenirs from the litany of previous home runs, they had one more coming from Machado. However it wasn’t just any home run. It came with the bases loaded, making it a grand slam. As I said, it was kind of the coup de gras on an afternoon that had Camden Yards packed and rocking.
The crowd might have been more into the game yesterday than they were even on Opening Day. And the weather has a lot more to do with that than does the game itself. Granted had Oakland won yesterday the crowd would have been much more subdued. However one could tell they were happy and excited to be there – on such a beautiful day.
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And the Orioles took notice of the crowd, for the record. They’ve played in front of smaller crowds thus far in 2016 mainly because of the weather. But that was all remedied yesterday, as Buck Showalter indicated after the game (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
"It’s kind of a Baltimore coming out after the winter and the weather that we’ve had in April, that you kind of get to say, ‘OK.’ This reminds us why we do what we do and why a lot of people in there work 9 to 5 out in the stands do what they do so they can come out and enjoy a game like today. That’s what I take out of it."
The Orioles went 6-4 on the ten-game homestand, which may almost come off as somewhat disappointing. However needless to say, the homestand ended with a slam-bang finish yesterday. Naysayers will point out that the O’s didn’t manufacture any runs (they all came on homers), however you take them anyway you can get them.
Next: Baltimore Orioles lifted to victory on the bat of Chris Davis
The Orioles will now head to Minnesota for a three-game set – and in effect a three-game road trip, before coming home again. Tyler Wilson will get the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s Jose Berrios. Game time is set for just after 8 PM.