Manny Machado wasn’t the reason the Baltimore Orioles topped Tampa this evening. It was a team effort across the board. However anytime you smack two homers, one of which is a grand slam, you’re going to turn heads.
Kevin Gausman produced a quality start, and kept Tampa’s lineup at bay for the entire evening. Gausman’s line: 7.1 IP, 11 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 6 K. And Gausman also gave the Orioles exactly what they needed in terms of an outing. They needed Gausman to go deeper into the game so as to help save the bullpen for tomorrow’s doubleheader. He did that and then some.
The Orioles never really trailed in this game, as Machado’s first homer of the game was a two-run shot in the first inning. Tampa would cut the lead in half in the third on an RBI-single by Cron, however that’s as close as Tampa would get. Jonathan Schoop‘s RBI-double in the sixth would run the score to 3-1, and one inning later Mark Trumbo would smack a solo homer over the wall to give the O’s a 4-1 lead.
Later in that seventh inning Machado would come up once again, this time with the bases loaded. And he didn’t disappoint, smacked a grand slam over the left field wall. However the fact is that it was a good thing that the O’s put those runs up. Tampa would net three runs in the eighth, cutting the Orioles’ lead to 8-4. But Chance Sisco would smack a solo homer in the last of the eighth which provided an insurance run for the Birds, who won it 9-4.
The interesting thing is that Tampa actually put 15 hits on the board. That to the Orioles’ 10. And that’s how Tampa wins games – they get an abundance of guys on base. But the Orioles’ pitching was just too good to let them get any further than that. They were unable to plate the majority of those runners, which is a testament to how good Gausman and those who followed him were.
Buck Showalter said after the game that he thought Gausman was “a little unlucky” on a few plays. That’s his way of saying that Tampa doesn’t hit the ball very hard. The bloop, dip, and dunk you to death. However in this game the Orioles hit-for-power, which is how they win games. If your power game is on, you’ll be able to defeat that everyday. IF your power game is on.
Before the game the Orioles placed starter Chris Tillman on the DL with a back injury. Showalter said that he had an MRI earlier today, and will continually be evaluated. Jimmy Yacabonis was called up from triple-A to take Tillman’s roster spot. Both teams will have the luxury of 26 roster spots tomorrow due to the doubleheader.
The Orioles now turn their attention to tomorrow’s aforementioned single admission doubleheader at Camden Yards. The Birds will throw David Hess in game one (who’ll be called up from triple-A before the game), and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Chris Archer. Game time is set for just after 3 PM. (Please note that game two will begin approximately 20-30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.) It will also be Hess’ big league debut.