Based squarely on league play yesterday, you’d have no choice but to say that the Chris Davis contract was a good signing by the Baltimore Orioles. Whether it was or wasn’t is up to the beholder; Davis has struggled this year. This much we know. But he’s shown signs of breaking out a bit of late. That was certainly true yesterday.
Dylan Bundy dominated Tampa hitters in yesterday’s game, becoming the third straight Orioles’ starter in as many days to post a win. Bundy’s line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 7 K. Bundy had good control, and was hitting his spots in the zone. If anything he was hitting his spots too much, as the three runs he gave up were solo homers. But with that said, it’s tough to argue with seven strikeouts.
The O’s had runners at the corners with one down in the last of the first, and Trumbo grounded into a force out which scored a run. However credit Adam Jones with half of that run, as he slid hard into second base to break up the double-play. It wasn’t a dirty slide or an attempt to intentionally injure someone, it was just a good clean – but hard – slide. And it netted the Orioles a run.
Tampa presumably would have turned a double-play if not for that slide, which would have ended the inning. And seeing that Chris Davis smacked a two-run homer following that play, you can partially credit Jones with that as well. Little things like that in games do matter. All Jones was trying to do was to keep the inning alive. When the dust cleared, that hard slide assisted the Orioles in netting three runs.
And it’s a good thing that they were able to put those runs on the board,, as for a moment it appeared that Tampa was going to make a game of it. Cron smacked a solo homer in the second inning. He would also smack one in the fourth. However between those two homers, Jones would net an RBI-single for the Orioles. Austin Wynns‘ would also homer in the last of the fourth (a play that was reviewed for fan interference and upheld), and the O’s held a 5-2 lead.
Jace Peterson‘s RBI-double in the fifth seemed to break the game open a bit, however Tampa still had a slight window. Bauer’s solo homer in the sixth inning kept the Orioles thinking that they needed more runs with a 6-3 lead. So they decided to keep scoring…as has been the case for most of this series. They truly busted the game open in the seventh with Jonathan Schoop‘s three-run homer, running the score to 9-3.
Tampa attempted to make the game not as crooked as it looked with two runs in the eighth. But the Orioles got those runs right back on Davis’ second home run of the game – another two-run shot. And the Birds went home with an 11-5 victory.
This series won’t be anything more than a footnote in a season that faded to black a long time ago. However for once it was the Orioles seemingly “getting well” against a hapless team. The Birds have played some bad teams this year, series’ in which one might argue that they could seemingly correct themselves. But instead it was those teams “getting well” against the O’s. Whether it was Oriole mistakes or bad bounces, somehow the opponent would find a way.
But in this series it was the Orioles finding a way. Detractors will say now that the pressure’s off a bit they’re finding themselves, however wins are still wins at the major league level. Does Chris Davis’ two homer effort make up for how things went in April and May? Not really. But it meant something for yesterday’s game.
Almost immediately following the game the Orioles announced that they had traded reliever Brad Brach to the Atlanta Braves for $250,000 in international signing bonus slot money. For what it’s worth, it’s the first time in the team’s history that they’ve ever done that. As we know they’ve dealt international slot money before, but never acquired it.
I’ll be honest; I’m not so sure the Orioles didn’t sell low on Brach. Granted he’s had his struggles this season, and international signing money is the way of the future. (The Orioles are expected to sign some players on the international market as soon as this week.) But I’m of the impression that players are better than slot money. I would have expected the O’s to get perhaps a low level prospect in return for Brach. But I’m old school, as has been said ad hoc. Needless to say, at least they got something for another piece.