Baltimore Orioles win a frustrating game on Manny Machado’s walk off homer

The Baltimore Orioles were pushed to the brink yesterday by Oakland. That team seriously wouldn’t quit, and they never saw themselves as out of the game. Remember what I wrote about yesterday; if you don’t rise up and take what’s yours, don’t be surprised when someone else who may not be as good but is hungrier than you does. That almost happened again yesterday – almost. Then Manny Machado stepped to the plate.

Dylan Bundy was dominant for six innings yesterday. He lost it a bit in the seventh and was eventually pulled. But he dominated a pesky Oakland lineup who’s attitude was that they weren’t going to be denied. Bundy’s line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 8 K.

The O’s had the lead from the third inning on (until the end) in this one. Mancini’s three-run homer in the third inning gave them a 3-0 lead. And honestly, it appeared that they were off to the races and weren’t looking back. Flaherty, who returned from the DL yesterday, made an immediate impact in the fourth with an RBI-single as well.

Oakland would get a run back in the sixth on an RBI-single, however Welington Castillo would provide what appeared to be the coup de grace for Oakland. His two-run homer in the bottom of that sixth inning gave the Birds a 6-1 lead. The O’s appeared to be on cruise control.

And ultimately, that was the problem. They felt that their jobs were done for the day, and in fairness at 6-1 going into the later innings that may not have been a bad feeling. But Oakland just doesn’t give up, and they ended up pushing the Orioles to the brink by just chipping away here and there.

They put three runs up in the seventh against Bundy, which seemed easily explainable because Bundy was tiring. However they also got a two-run homer by Joyce in the eighth, which brought them to within 6-5. The Birds also got one back on a Chris Davis home run in the last of the eighth, and again it appeared that could have been a fatal blow.

But as I said, these guys just refused to quit. They put two runs up in the ninth against closer Zach Britton, tying the game and ending his streak of games without blowing a save at 60. It’s a shame that happened, but the fact is that it’s a footnote since the Orioles ended up winning. The downside is that Britton is getting an MRI on his knee today due to some discomfort he’s been feeling. That’s obviously not good.

Luckily for the Orioles however, the home team bats last. Neither team seemed able to put anything across in the first two extra frames. But Manny Machado led off the last of the twelfth and smacked the ball out of the ballpark for a walk off homer and an 8-7 victory.

Oakland pushed the Orioles as far as they could have without beating them yesterday. This is something on which the Orioles really need to work – in terms of taking what’s theirs. You can be the greatest team on earth, however if you hit the cruise control button and you’re playing a team with the mentality that they’re world-beaters, you’re going to find yourself in trouble. But at the end of the day, the O’s took two-of-three from a subpar Oakland team. And maybe this game is the launching point of an epic September for all we know.

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