The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Baltimore Orioles last night – at first. Starter Alex Cobb seemed to be on the ropes from the beginning, and the team just didn’t look up to winning. Cobb’s line: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 4 K.
After two innings, Toronto led 4-0. Many Orioles fans had of course seen this story play out already this season – several times over. It appeared that the Orioles weren’t going to sweep their second series of the year. It also appeared that the O’s would have to wait another series before hitting the 40-win plateau. A dubious point for sure, but the 1962 New York Mets have the worst record in the modern era at 40-120. So at least the Orioles can avoid that distinction.
Trey Mancini started the Orioles’ rally with a solo homer in the fourth. The Birds would proceed to load the bases, bringing Adam Jones to the plate. And it was Jones, the unofficial “captain,” who put the Orioles back into the game. Jones got a hanging change up right down the middle of the plate, which he deposited into the left field grandstand for a grand slam. And the O’s abruptly took a 5-4 lead.
Those are the types of heroics that Orioles fans have learned to expect from Jones over his eleven years in Birdland. And I’ll add, those are the heroics that Orioles fans will miss if Jones goes elsewhere next year. But that aside, it’s for that reason that so many fans see him as the captain. Granted some of that is based on longevity; but the longevity itself is based on moments such as that. And boy have they mattered over the years.
Unfortunately however, Toronto didn’t allow that to be the final part of the game story. Travis’ solo homer in the sixth would tie the game at five. However the O’s got the lead right back on an Austin Wynns RBI-single in the last of that sixth inning. Incidentally, that play was set up by John Andreoli getting on base, and then stealing second base. If not for the stolen base (which has been happening a bit more frequently of late) the Orioles would have been in a first and third situation. But as a result of the swiped bag, the had the lead back.
Later in the sixth Macnini would score on a wild pitch. The Birds would put three additional runs on the board in the eight, most of which came as a direct or net result of errors. At the end of the day, the Birds wrapped up a 10-5 victory.
After being swept in Toronto last week, the Birds turned around and returned the favor this week at Camden Yards. That had to be gratifying. And we saw massive contributions from some of the new players, which was good to see. But in the case of last night’s game, it was Adam Jones, “the Captain,” who’s heroics put the team over the top. Perhaps his grand slam didn’t win the game per se, but it did give them a shot in the arm that was direly needed. And that’s what Adam Jones has represented for the Orioles and for the city of Baltimore since he’s been here.