The Baltimore Orioles’ west coast road trip was already a success before yesterday’s game. Now some might disagree, but the fact that they hadn’t embarrassed themselves and looked good in numerous wins was a good sign. But as Tom Eshelman opened for the Birds yesterday, there was a yearn to make a decent west coast swing a good one. Eshelman’s line: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 5 K.
Eshelman surrendered four runs early to San Diego, putting the Birds in an early hole. But as suddenly as San Diego had struck, the tide turned and the Orioles began to strike back. Jace Peterson‘s RBI-single in the fourth inning got the O’s on the board, cutting the San Diego lead to 4-1. However later in the inning Richie Martin added a two-RBI single, which cut the lead to 4-3.
Martin’s two-RBI single was a key turning point. There’s a big difference between holding a three-run lead and a one-run lead. However San Diego would get a run back one inning later on an infield RBI-single, which the Orioles challenged at first base. However while it appeared that the runner could have been out, the ruling was that there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the ruling on the field.
However two innings later Hanser Alberto tied it with a two-RBI single. Incidentally, that came with two runners in scoring position. That’s known as a clutch hit.
And it didn’t end there. The game was tied, and one inning later in the eighth Chris Davis was coming to the plate. Now there was a time when that would have struck fear into opposing pitchers. Those days are past. Davis has been 0-for-3 with three strikeouts to that point. Which is why San Diego opted to pitch-to-contact on Davis.
But Davis is still good enough to hit the ball out of the ballpark if he does get a pitch and he’s able to get a hold of it. And that.’a exactly what he did on a hanging slider, and he muscled it out of the ballpark. Again, we call that a clutch hit given the fact that the game was tied, and it was in a late inning.
Trey Mancini added a two-RBI single later in the inning, and the O’s closed out an 8-5 victory in San Diego. They completed their nine-game west coast swing at five wins and four losses. For a team that’s supposed to be the worst in baseball, that’s pretty good. And for the record, they aren’t the worst team in baseball anymore. That distinction now belongs to Detroit. The O’s are moving up in the world!