The Baltimore Orioles got a late homer from Jonathan Schoop to defeat Tampa in the first game after the break.
The Baltimore Orioles got off on the right foot after the all-star break last night, thanks in large part to a late Jonathan Schoop home run. But backing up a bit, Yovani Gallardo had some struggles in the game. He also put the O’s in a spot to win the game – if their bats came around. And they did.
Gallardo surrendered some early runs to a hungry Tampa team, but as I said kept the Birds in the game. Gallardo’s line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 2 K. Gallardo loaded the bases in the first inning, although he bent but didn’t break. He allowed a run on an RBI-groundout by Souza, and the O’s trailed 1-0. And that’s often the story of any game – bend but don’t break.
Tampa would run the lead to 2- an inning later on Forsythe’s RBI-single. It looked like it might not be the Orioles’ day at that point, as they appeared to still have their minds on whatever they were doing over the course of this past week. And this is why you have to hit the ground running after the break – you don’t want to turn a surplus of wins into a hole.
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However in the top of the third the Birds got back on track. Pedro Alvarez‘s solo homer got them on the board, and from their perspective cleared the air of any misunderstanding about whether or not the break was over. Tampa did get that run back in the last of the third, however luckily for the Orioles Alvarez came to bat again in the fifth. His RBI-double cut the Tampa lead to 3-2, keeping the Orioles in the game.
The O’s managed to get runners at the corners one inning later in the sixth. That brought Matt Wieters to the plate, and he grounded into a force out at second base. However that allowed Machado to score from third base, tying the game at three.
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And that of course set the stage for Schoop’s big moment. With the game still knotted at three in the eighth, the first place Orioles took the lead for the first time in the game – and for good. Schoop’s deep homer to left field was his 100th hit on the season. More importantly, it put the O’s in the driver’s seat and led them to victory.
You want to get off on the right foot after the all-star break, and while it took the Orioles awhile to get into the driver’s seat, they got there. They of course remain in first place in the AL East, two games above Boston. They’re also three games above third place Toronto.
The series continues this evening at Tropicana Field. Chris Tillman will take to the mound for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Mat Moore. Game time is set for just after 6 PM.