This was the game for which the Baltimore Orioles had seemingly waited all year. The Birds got multiple homers from Pedro Alvarez, and Chris Tillman was about as cool a customer as was humanely possible. Tillman’s line: 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K.
That type of game should give a morale boost to a clubhouse that’s been reeling of late. And one that got a tongue-lashing from manager Buck Showalter earlier this week at that. In all phases of the game, the Birds put everything together tonight. And it came at a moment when something like that was desperately needed.
This was looking to be a good night for the Birds from the outset, when Manny Machado smacked a solo homer in the first inning to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. And this was one of those games whereby had the scoring ended right there, that would have been fine. Because all things being equal (which is always a tough argument to make), Detroit put zero runs across in the game.
The O’s held that 1-0 lead until the last of the fifth when Alvarez smacked a solo shot of his own, extending the lead to 2-0. One inning later newly acquired Jace Peterson‘s RBI-double left it at 3-0, and an inning after that Alvarez smacked his second homer of the game, this one of the two-run variety.
Machado would add an RBI-single in the eighth to round out the scoring at 6-0. It’s unclear however what or who should be the big story of the game. You have Alvarez and his two dingers, or you have Tillman. Ultimately this was a good team win across the board. Everyone who was in the lineup participated, and played a role. And that’s how all wins should be.
The Birds snapped a five-game losing streak with this win, however mind you that this team has been here before. One week ago tonight the Birds snapped a losing streak, and then immediately began another one – which just ended tonight. They need to now play off of this win, and bring it forward into tomorrow. The idea being to now start a winning streak of some sort.
Incidentally this was probably Chris Tillman’s best performance in over a year. It was better than any game he pitched last year. It was also noteworthy because the O’s avoided using the likes of O’Day or Brach, both of whom worked last night in a losing effort.
The series with Detroit continues tomorrow night at Camden Yards. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Francisco Liriano. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.