The Baltimore Orioles finally won a game where the fans and players did not have to struggle through the ninth inning to get the win, as they pummeled Toronto 11-4.
Game 21: Baltimore Orioles 11 (11-10) Toronto Blue Jays 4 (11-11) F
W: Bud Norris (1-2, 4.44)
L: Brett Cecil (0-1, 4.15)
MVP: David Lough 3-4, 3 R, 1 2B, 2 SB, 1 BB, 1 outfield assist at home
The GOOD: Since last night I was busy flipping back and forth between the Orioles, the Miami Heat and the Dallas Stars, I didn’t get a chance to post. Last night’s game was agonizing, but Chris Tillman gets a lot of credit for gutting it out. The good in both games is quite easy, the offense. Nelson Cruz is on fire for the Orioles. Matt Wieters is not far behind. Chris Davis is starting to see the ball well, and Nick Markakis is playing well. In this game, Jonathan Schoop led off the scoring with a laser home run, which helped the Orioles get the bats going. All but one of the Orioles had a hit in this game. The 2-5 hitters went 8/19, 10 RBIs, 3 2Bs. David Lough was a monster in every facet of this game. He saved a run in the first inning, by throwing out Melky Cabrera at the plate, then scored three runs, had two stolen bases and would have scored again if not for a ground rule double.
The base running and defense were both superb in this game. And the pitching was much better than it had been in previous games. In fact, Bud Norris pitched well despite leaving up two home runs in the second inning.
The BAD: Ryan Flaherty went 0-5. At this point I’m not sure why he is starting over Steve Lombardozzi. My only guess is he is going to get every day at-bats until Manny Machado comes back, and once he does he will get every day at-bats in AAA Norfolk.
Also concerning is the issue Norris had with his hamstring. He may be the Orioles 5th starter, but he has pitched like their second best pitcher despite his record.
What’s NEXT: The Orioles head back home with a winning record, which is quite a feat. All of their series so far have been against the either the AL East or the Detroit Tigers. Now, they head home to play the Kansas City Royals, then Pittsburgh and Minnesota. Much easier than the gauntlet of the AL East. Now the test will be can the Orioles beat the teams they should beat? The Orioles currently sit in second place in the AL East, 1.5 games behind the New York Yankees.
The Orioles take on the Royals starting at 7:05 tomorrow night from Camden Yards. The Birds hope Ubaldo Jimenez can get on track, as his current 0-3 record with a 6.75 ERA is not what the Orioles were looking for when they gave him a big contract. The opposing pitcher will be young flame thrower Yordano Ventura, who is 1-1 with a 2.65 ERA. The 22-year-old has electric stuff, and should make for a fun game for O’s fans heading out to the ballpark on a Friday night!