Baltimore Orioles complete the sweep of Tampa

The Baltimore Orioles got a grand slam from Chris Davis in the first inning as they finished off Tampa 12-5 in a four-game sweep.

Chris Davis, and just about every member of the Baltimore Orioles will tell you that it’s tough to sweep someone in four games. But that’s exactly what the O’s did this weekend to Tampa, finishing them off yesterday afternoon. Granted this was only supposed to be a three-game set, but the fourth game was added after a rainout in April. Either way, the O’s won all four.

Tyler Wilson struggled here and there out of the gate, but he battled long enough to qualify for the win. Wilson’s line: 5.0 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 1 K. And pitchers who pitch-to-contact will allow base runners and runs here and there. Especially against a team like Tampa who pushes the envelope. But luckily for the O’s, Wilson bent but never broke.

Davis set the tone for the day with an opposite field grand slam in the first inning. There’s not much more a team can do to jazz up it’s home crowd early in the game than that! Tampa would try to come back in the second with a solo homer by Jennings, however the Birds would take a play out of Tampa’s book in the last of the second. With a runner on third Jones executed a perfect safety squeeze bunt, scoring the runner – and ending up safe at first base. Small ball…Tampa’s game, right?! 

One inning later Jonathan Schoop would return the Birds to their normal game, pumping a solo shot out of Camden Yards to give the O’s a 6-1 lead. However Tampa was allowed back into the game in the fourth an fifth innings. Arcia smacked a solo homer, Morrison an RBI-double, and then Arcia once again with a two-RBI double. When the smoke cleared, the Orioles’ lead was down to 6-5 with Wilson on the ropes. But he got the Birds out of the inning and preserved the lead.

And Oriole bats took it from there. Mark Trumbo hit a two-run homer in the last of the fifth to extend the lead back to three runs at 8-5. I suppose that it’s always a good sign when you smack a homer on your t-shirt day! Towards the end of the game the wheels really started to come off for Tampa. Rickard’s RBI-double ran the score to 9-5, and Machado’s RBI-single made it 10-5. Trumbo also added another RBI-single, and then the coup de grace…the O’s scored one final run on a wild pitch.

The Orioles not only swept this series, but they did so in grandiose fashion. Granted this is a Tampa team that had lost seven straight coming in (that’s up to 11 now) and is riddled with injuries, however they’re still a division rival and a big league club. Plus the law of averages says that you just aren’t going to sweep four games from someone – esecially in the division. However the Orioles did just that. 

Davis’ grand slam certainly set the pace early on. Furthermore in a seven-run blowout it’s tough to say that one specific play was “a big one.” But the Jones safety squeeze really stood out to me. That’s not a play you see so often anymore, and certainly not that early in the game. The fact that it was perfectly executed will make teams think down the line. It’s just one more wrinkle in an offense that’s as potent as any in the league. 

The O’s now find themseles with an off day, but it will be spent in San Diego. Normally if they have an off day in between a home and an away series, they’ll travel on the off day. But in this case they departed immediately after the game yesterday given the time difference and the distance.