Baltimore Orioles: Wade Miley’s gem put Birds back in the saddle
Wade Miley struck out eleven Arizona hitters as the Baltimore Orioles moved back into the second American League wild card spot.
With the effort that Wade Miley gave last night, we saw what the Baltimore Orioles are truly capable of doing when firing on all cylinders. At this point every game is going to be the most important of the season – until the O’s either clinch a playoff spot or are eliminate. Miley seemed to get that, and without a doubt he rose to the occasion.
The Orioles dominated this game from the start, and that began with starting pitching. Miley’s line: 8.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 11 K. Those eleven strikeouts were a career high for Miley. Equally as impressive were the zero walks. If you don’t issue any free passes you make it tougher for the opponent to score.
Offensively the Orioles jumped on Arizona early and often. They quickly produced runners at the corners with nobody out in the last of the first, and Manny Machado’s RBI-single gave the Birds and Wade Miley a 1-0 lead. One inning later they took a 2-0 lead on J.J. Hardy’s sac fly-RBI. Then the fireworks started…
…and they started with someone who’s been a hot topic all week in Birdland. Trey Mancini smacked his third career home run in the last of the fourth, and the O’s led 3-0. Mancini of course just joined the team this week for the first time, and has put on a great show thus far. The downside of course is that he’s a first baseman – a position currently occupied by Chris Davis. So…is Mancini being showcased as possibly trade bait? That’s something we’ll explore in the off season.
Later in that fourth inning Chris Davis’ two-RBI single gave the O’s a 5-0 lead. They would cap the evening’s scoring off in the fifth with Mark Trumbo’s solo homer to run the lead to 6-0. Arizona would net a meaningless run in the ninth on an RBI-double, and the BIrds cruised to a 6-1 victory.
With the win and by virtue of Detroit blowing a lead in the ninth inning at home, the Orioles are now a half game ahead of Detroit in the wild card race. That means that if the season ended today (which it doesn’t), the O’s would be in the playoffs. They would travel to Toronto for the wild card game – a place that ironically they’re going this coming week anyways!
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So for now, the O’s are in a spot where they would qualify for the post season. However they need to continue winning – and that starts today. They’ll also need more pitching performances like what they got out of Wade Miley last night, which goes without saying. At this point winning series’ doesn’t mean so much because you’re trying to just win games as well as you can. But for what it’s worth the Orioles have won the series with Arizona.
Next: Baltimore Orioles: Mark Trumbo hasn't heard no bell
And that series will conclude this afternoon, in the final regular season home game at Camden Yards this year. Dylan Bundy will get the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Arizona’s Braden Shipley. Game time is set for just after 1:30 PM.