Baltimore Orioles prompted to victory by Hanser Alberto’s squeeze

The Baltimore Orioles handed Asher Wojchiekowski the baseball this afternoon in the Motor City, and got exactly what they needed. They got a starter who put them in a position to win the game. And in the process they’re finding out more and more that Wojciechowski could be a keeper going into next year. Wojchiekowski’s line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

Detroit took an early 1-0 lead on Wojchiekowski and the Birds, on an RBI-double by Mercer in the last of the first. However an inning later the O’s bounced back and tied it on DJ Stewart‘s RBI-single. Detroit briefly had the lead back on Greiner’s RBI-single in the last of the second. But the Orioles weren’t about to let this one get away from them after blowing two late leads and losing in walk off fashion in the twelfth last night.

They took control for good in the third. Hanser Alberto tied it with an RBI-single. The great thing about that was that it was a bunt RBI-single. The Orioles put on the squeeze play and Alberto bunted for a base hit. And…it worked!

And as I’ve been saying all year, sometimes things happen when you get traffic on the base paths. Because later in the inning with two runners on, Rio Ruiz stepped to the plate and smacked a three-run homer. That gave the Orioles the lead for good at 5-2.

Jonathan Villar‘s two-RBI single in the sixth rain the score to 7-2, however the game was interrupted by a 40 minute rain delay as some storms passed over Detroit. But the O’s didn’t let up once play resumed. In fact, they racked on an insurance run. Anthony Santander‘s RBI-single in the eighth ran the final to 8-2.

The Alberto squeeze play was the catalyst for the win. That’s a play on which the Orioles normally aren’t able to deliver. However it’s possible that the fundamentals that the coaching staff have been preaching all season are finally starting to kick in. While many fans will say that’s too little too late, it helps the O’s going into spring training next year. It’s a rebuild; the future is everything.

The series concludes tomorrow afternoon at Comerica Park. John Means gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Tyler Alexander. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

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