Baltimore Orioles took the series from the Twins today
The Baltimore Orioles had a good day winning the game and the series against the tough Minnesota Twins.
After a five-game losing streak, the Baltimore Orioles enter the All-Star Break with a two-game winning streak against the Minnesota Twins. Today’s score was a pleasant 11-5.
There were several highlights in the game, but it was Adam Jones who showed that the Orioles are not ready to settle for the bottom.
Jones set the tone in the first inning with a three-run homer that brought in Seth Smith and Jonathon Schoop. He did it again in the top of the fifth hitting into the second deck at Target Field.
Almost everyone hits!
Jones took batting practice off of Kyle Gibson, but he was not the only Bird who had a good day offensively. Every Orioles player who started the game contributed to the 11 runs. The only starting player who did not record a hit was Hyun Soo Kim, but he earned a walk and scored a run off of a Caleb Joseph double.
Along with Jones, several players recorded multiple hits. Smith went 3 for 4 with a walk. Manny Machado went 2 for 5. Joseph also went 2 for 5. Ruben Tejada batted 1.000 today and earned one RBI. Jones earned five RBIs on the day and Joseph had three.
Battle of the mediocre pitchers
Ubaldo Jimenez toed the slab and today the pitching gods favored him over Kyle Gibson. Honestly, the game could have gone either way as both men have ERAs over 6.00 and WHIPS above 1.500. They both showed off their low-90’s fastballs, but the Orioles simply had more fun with Gibson’s than the Twinkies did with Jimenez’s.
Gibson only made it through a full four innings into the game and delivered one strikeout, which happened to go to Machado in the first inning. He pitched in the fifth, but did not record any outs. Gibson’s best inning was the third when he managed to get the side to ground out. By the time the four innings were over, Gibson gave up nine hits and seven earned runs. He also walked two batters and gave up two home runs.
Jimenez, on the other hand, had a significantly better day. He pitched five innings and recorded three strikeouts. He finished the game with four hits, four earned runs, and four walks. In typical Jimenez-style, his trouble occurred all in one inning – the second. Jimenez managed to hit the first batter – Kennys Vargas, then get a strikeout and a pop-up for an out. But, he couldn’t finish it without serious drama. He then walked three batters in a row, walking in Vargas. Then, after a visit from the dugout, he gave up a single and a double. By the time he recorded the final out of the inning, the Twins put up four runs.
Fortunately, Jimenez pitched two clean innings before creating drama in the fifth. He got the fifth under control, but not until after putting two men on and giving up bases on a wild pitch.
Good ending to a good game
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He was relieved in the sixth by Richard Bleier who did what he normally does – get outs. He managed to get through six batters until the seventh, when Miguel Castro had to come in to clean up a small mess that resulted in one unearned run.
Then Zach Britton pitched in the ninth and had his best inning since returning to the team earlier in the week. The first two batters he faced grounded out and he finished the game with a dirty swinging strikeout to Robbie Grossman. It was nice to see Britton get his first strikeout since May when he struck out Jackie Bradley in Fenway Park.
Next: Are the Orioles in a free fall? Possibly.
Hopefully, this momentum will carry into the second half of the season as the offense showed what it can do to support their poor starting pitching staff.