The Baltimore Orioles pieced together a five-run comeback against Detroit last night, and ended up victors to the tune of 7-5.
The Baltimore Orioles, led by the likes of Jonathan Schoop, Manny Machado, Chris Davis, and Adam Jones, as the new “comeback kids.” That has a certain ring to it, and it certainly was the case last night against Detroit. A lot of folks like to pun writers like me who point out that this Orioles team “doesn’t give up.” But that attitude certainly worked out for them last night.
Part of any great team is it’s heart, and you’d be hard-pressed to argue that this Orioles team doesn’t have that. In fact it’s been a staple of almost every Showalter-led team in Baltimore. That’s the characteristic which lifts a team in a game like what we saw last night.
On the flip side, Ubaldo Jimenez struggled right out of the gate against this powerful Detroit lineup. Jimenez’s line: 5 IP, 9 H, 5 R (4 earned), 4 BB, 2 K. Jimenez’s issue since coming to the Orioles has been inconsistency, and that’s plagued him again last night. That’s not to say that he didn’t battle as hard as he could, however he just didn’t have it last night.
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Jimenez yielded a run to Detroit almost immediately, on an RBI-single by Martinez in the first. He then gave up a solo home run to Saltalamacchia in the fourth, and later in the inning he surrendered a third run to Cabrera on an RBI-groundout. Two RBI-singles in the sixth ran the score to 5-0.
As games go into the middle to later innings, you start to see how they ebb and flow. However sometimes switches turn on and off in teams’ collective minds. Detroit went to it’s bullpen following a Chris Davis RBI-double in the last of the sixth which cut Detroit’s lead to 5-1. That’s when it started raining Oriole runs.
Schoop added an RBI-single later in that sixth inning, and the O’s were to within 5-2. They seemed just fine eating away little-by-little at the lead, and to some extent Detroit didn’t seem to want to do much to stop that. Adam Jones’ RBI-single in the seventh cut the lead to 5-3, and following Davis’s RBI-single it ran to 5-4. At some point it had to occur to Detroit that there was a movement going on, however I suspect it was too late.
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Pedro Alvarez would add an RBI-single later in that last of the seventh, and suddenly
the game was tied. In a complete surprise move, the Birds had come all the way back from five runs down. But there was more…Schoop was coming back to the plate with two on, and he wasn’t about to end the rally there. His RBI-triple gave the Orioles a 7-5 lead, which eventually turned into an improbable 7-5 victory.
Again, these types of victories only occur when you have a team that’s got heart. One of the most famous losses in recent Orioles’ history of course was the “Mother’s Day Massacre” in Boston back in 2007. Similarly, that was a Boston team that had a lot of heart. And we saw it again last night with the O’s. You don’t just stumble into coming from five runs down to win. It doesn’t just “happen.”
You have to believe in yourself enough to have the bravado to know you can do it. This Orioles team has that trait. It’s also important to note that they aren’t arrogant about it, because to a man they all know that they beat a good team last night – and one with whom they’ll be dealing for three more days at that. But they have the gravitas about them to know they would be able to come all the way back. And boy was it a spectacle to see.
The series continues tonight, and the O’s will have their hands full. Chris Tillman will get the start, and he’ll be opposed by none other than Detroit’s Justin Verlander. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.