Baltimore Orioles hold on for dear life and earn a curly W in DC
The Baltimore Orioles thought they were going to cruise to an early victory but Washington made them work in the last of the ninth to escape with a win.
Holding a 10-3 lead going into the last of the ninth inning, you felt that the Baltimore Orioles were going to cruise to victory. The Orioles’ pen being as strong as it is, Washington couldn’t put up eight runs and win – could they? The answer of course is no, they couldn’t. But they sure came close.
Wade Miley earned his first victory in an Orioles uniform last night, which was probably long overdue. Miley’s line; 5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K. Miley had Washington hitters guessing throughout his entire start. He changed speeds well and painted the corners – exactly the reason the Orioles traded for him.
The Birds set the tone early for the topsy-turvy nature of the game. Manny Machado smacked a two-run homer in the first inning, giving the O’s a 2-0 lead. The Orioles would then proceed to load the bases later in the inning, and Matt Wieters was hit by a pitch – making it 3-0. They tacked on a fourth run on a Hardy sac fly-RBI, and led 4-1 after a Rendon RBI-double in the last of the first (with the third out in the inning being made by a runner being naile at the plate).
The teams seemed to settle in a bit following Machado’s RBI-single in the second. Washington got to within 5-3, before the Orioles put a donnybrook of runs on the board late. Machado and Schoop both put up RBI-singles, giving the O’s a couple of insurance runs. Wieters would then add what we thought at the time was a coup de grace in the form of a three-run home run. But the fact is you need 27 outs to win a game.
So again, here we are going into the last of the ninth thinking that the game was over. At the end of the day, Washington couldn’t come all the way back. But they tried, and the O’s were forced to go to Britton in the ninth following a Murphy grand slam. Rendon would also add an RBI-double, and suddenly the Orioles’ lead was only two runs.
Incidentally, Britton also made an unforced error on a comebacker when he tried to nail the lead runner unsuccessfully at second base. That brought the winning run to the plate for Washington in the form of Zimmernan. While that was a bad mistake, it also in theory set up a potential double-play to end the game. And Zimmerman hit the first pitch he saw on the ground to second, inducing that double-play and ending the game.
More from Orioles News
- Baltimore Orioles Sign RP Mychal Givens
- Gunnar Henderson: Destroyer of Four-Seam Fastballs
- Which Current Baltimore Orioles Pitchers Have the Best Curveballs?
- Orioles News: Should the O’s Pursue Eovaldi? + More MLB News
- Should the Baltimore Orioles Consider Signing Nathan Eovaldi?
One can only imagine the optics of losing a game after being up by seven runs in the last of the ninth. It had all the markings of the Orioles finding a way to lose, especially with Britton being rushed into the game at the end. But at the end of the day it’s a W – along with Boston and Toronto losing.
But this game was also won in the sixth and seventh innings. Miley allowed two runners into scoring position with nobody out, prompting a pitching change. Mychal Givens was brought into the game in a tough spot, and he proceeded to retire Washington 1-2-3 from that point. One inning later Donnie Hart replaced Givens with runners at the corners and two down. While one run did score, Hart got them out of the inning and preserved the lead.
Make no mistake about the fact that Givens and Hart are quickly becoming a great 1-2 punch in the bullpen. Managers also like guys they can trust – and Showalter seems to trust these two young relievers. If those guys don’t do what they did at the level that they did it, the Orioles lose this game. It’s as simple as that.
Next: Baltimore Orioles: In memory of the great Mike Flanagan
The series in Washington concludes tonight at Nationals Park. Ubaldo Jimenez will get the start for the Orioles (in place of the injured Tillman), and he’ll be opposed by Washington’s Max Scherzer. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.