Baltimore Orioles: Seattle sleepless at the yard

What would you have said a month ago if I had told you that the Baltimore Orioles were going to rattle off seven straight wins? Heck, what would you have said a week ago?! While none of this means that the Orioles will finish the regular season with a birth in the playoffs, they are in fact coming on strong at just the right time. To draw a comparison, basketball for instance is a game of runs. Whomever has their run last generally wins.

You know that we’re starting to get down to crunch time when starters are being pulled at the first sign of trouble Ubaldo Jimenez didn’t last long in this game, however the fact is that we’re at a point of the season where results mean more at the end of the day than does how a starter looked. Jimenez’s line: 2.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

The O’s took the lead in the last of the second on a Mancini solo homer. Welington Castillo added an RBI-double, and the O’s held a 2-0 lead. However one inning later Jimenez got in trouble as Seattle loaded the bases. Jimenez appeared to induce Cruz into a ground ball in the infield which would have ended the inning, however as I’ve said many times funny things happen when guys get on base…

…the ball hit second base itself. And I’m not sure you could do that if you tried. Nevertheless that tied the game at two. Seattle would plate four more runs in the inning, and when the smoked cleared Jimenez was on the bench and the Birds trailed 6-2.

But when you’re in a pennant race you don’t let things like that phase you. Castillo smacked a two-run homer in the fourth to bring the Birds back to within 6-4. Gentry added a solo shot of his own, and the O’s were within one. And an inning later in the fifth, we had a tie game once again as Jonathan Schoop smacked a solo homer of his own.

The O’s took the lead back in the sixth on Machado’s sac fly-RBI, however a solo homer in the eighth off the bat of Haniger tied things up once again at seven. There have been times over the course of the year where the O’s struggled to put teams away, however while the Orioles earned a series sweep in this instance Seattle just didn’t want to go away – until the very end.

And it was an RBI-single by Schoop in the last of the eighth that put Seattle away for good. The 8-7 win gave the Birds a series sweep, and their seventh straight victory. Mind you that the winning streak at some point will have to end. But it’s made the O’s a very dangerous team in terms of the wild card race. While they’re still 1.5 games back, if they keep winning you have to assume that they’ll be in.

The Orioles now open a four-game set with Toronto at home. Jeremy Hellickson gets the start for the O’s in game one, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Marco Estrada. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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