Baltimore Orioles split Boston series on the bat of Adam Jones
Adam Jones homered twice as the Baltimore Orioles defeated Boston 12-7 last night. The Birds split the four-game set with the BoSox.
The Baltimore Orioles got two home runs out of Adam Jones last night, which helped lead them to a 12-7 victory over Boston. Ubaldo Jimenez started the game, and in my personal view actually looked better than his numbers indicate. Jimenez’s line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 3 K. Jimenez fell apart in the sixth inning and allowed Boston back in the game, but he pitched five very effective innings last night for the Birds.
The O’s got on the board in the last of the fourth when Mark Trumbo broke a scoreless tie with a two-run homer. One inning later Jones smacked his first of the game, also of the two-run variety. That gave the O’s a 4-0 lead, and it appeared that they were off to the races at that point.
However Jimenez fell apart in the sixth, and was lifted without even recording an out. Again, Jimenez pitched very well against a very potent lineup through five innings. While it’s easy to criticize Jimenez in general, you can’t conveniently forget that he shut Boston down. It was the third time through the order that they started having success against him. And in many cases in baseball, that’s about par for the course.
Bogaerts smacked a two-run single, and later in the inning Ortiz actually gave Boston a 5-4 lead with a three-run homer. So at that point the feeling was that the game and the series was over. It was all settled who the beast in the east was, and it sure as heck wasn’t the Orioles. Not after dropping three-of-four at home to a potent Boston team, right?!
But the game isn’t over after six innings. The Birds immediately tied it up on Trumbo’s solo homer in the last of the sixth. One inning later it was Manny Machado‘s turn to go yard, and his homer was of the three-run variety. And that kind of tipped the scales in the opposite direction, as it became evident that the colors marring this night would be none other than orange and black. While it had been a back-and-forth affair for a couple of innings, the Orioles had seized control of the game at that point.
Pedro Alvarez would add a solo homer in the eighth, and Francisco Pena a two-run shot. That would bring Jones back to the plate again, and he’d cap the Orioles’ scoring for the night off with a second home run (of the solo variety). Boston would put two runs across in the ninth, but the Birds shut the door and won it 12-7.
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Whereas they struggled to score runs in the first two games, the O’s put up 13 runs on Wednesday and 12 last night. So the series ended up being split two games each. Boston leaves town one game up in first place, just as they were when they got here. What this tells us is that the AL East race is far from over – yes I’m saying that in June. Many people were crowing Boston as champions of the east after the first two games. I suspect they’re whistling a different tune today.
For his part, Jimenez tried to remember the first five innings of the game afterwards, and that’s what he wants to take forward with him (quote courtesy of Ryan Baillargeon of mlb.com):
"I had a tough inning. That’s not going to erase how I felt in the first five innings. That’s what I’m going to take for tomorrow, for the next day, and get ready for whenever I have to pitch next."
This start was much better than some of his last starts, and fans shouldn’t forget that. This was about as wild as a series as you’re going to see without a bench-clearing incident. Heck the umpiring crew even thought we might have one of those on Wednesday and they issued warnings after a pitch got away! But at the end of the day, the Orioles started out in the hole against their rivals, and they came back and fought to an even draw.
Next: Baltimore Orioles: You can't keep a good bird down!
The Birds will remain in AL East play as New York comes to town for a three-game set this weekend staring tonight. Chris Tillman will get the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Nathan Eovaldi. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.