Baltimore Orioles: A character win
Baltimore Orioles’ manager Brandon Hyde called this evening’s 6-5 win in Tampa a heart attack type of game. He also called it a character win. It didn’t need to go to Extra Innings, as Andrew Cashner pitched well enough to win. The Birds just couldn’t get the job done in nine. Cashner’s line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K.
One of those runs came in the first inning ON AN RBI-single by Pham. However Renato Nunez got the Orioles on the board in the third with an RBI-single of his own. Later in the inning Joey Rickard would leg out an infield hit, allowing another run to score and giving the Orioles the lead.
However Tampa would immediately tie the game back up in the last of the third on a solo homer by Phan. That said, last night belonged to the O’s. It may have taken extra time, but it belonged to the Orioles. The O’s took the lead back in the fourth on Pedro Severino‘s solo home run.
And the Birds extended their lead from there. Richie Martin‘s RBI-single in the seventh Gabe them a 4-2 lead (Martin was tagged out on the base paths). Dwight Smith Jr.’s sac fly-RBI in the eighth gave the Birds a 5-2 lead, which one would have thought was safe.
But Tampa put two runs on the board in the last of the eighth on Zunino’s two-RBI double. One-run leads in the last of the ninth are the worst types of leads to have. Especially against a team like Tampa that utterly refuses to quit. Sure enough, Garcia smacked a solo homer in the ninth, sending the game to extra innings.
Chris Davis smacked a two-out single in the 11th. However the key play of the game was Davis going from first-to-third on Ruiz’s subsequent single. As beleaguered as Davis has been, he’s starting to find ways to contribute. That bit of good base running all but won the game for the O’s.
Especially seeing that Joey Rickard would later double Rickard home, giving the Birds a 6-5 lead – which turned into a 6-5 victory. It’s often things that don’t show up on the line score that can be the difference between winning and losing. Chris Davis’ clutch base running in the eleventh inning last night is a prime example.
The O’s now head home to open up a three game series with Minnesota tomorrow night at Camden Yards (weather permitting). Alex Cobb will come off the DL and makes the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s Jose Berrios. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.