Apr 24, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Baltimore Orioles Nick Markakis is greeted at home plate by left fielder David Lough after both scoring in the seventh inning in Wednesday night

David Lough Gets High Marks in Baltimore Orioles Victory

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David Lough demonstrated his wide range of skills in leading the Baltimore Orioles to another come-from-behind victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Lough was 3-for-4 with a walk, stole two bases (manufacturing a run with a steal of second and tag to third), had an outfield assist on a play at the plate, and made two excellent catches in the outfield.

This is the style of play that was touted as Lough’s strength when traded from the Royals for Danny Valencia. But a spring training incident with concussion-like symptoms has kept Lough down low … until last night.

But there were more heroes in the orange and black that made possible the very type of win we all expected would be a part of Baltimore Orioles baseball for the 2014 season. For the second consecutive evening, a Baltimore pitcher fell behind early in the game and battled back from a bad inning to hold the Jays under control until the bats came alive.

Starter Bud Norris gave up a pair of 2nd-inning homers, including a two-run shot to Orioles killer Colby Rasmus, to give the Jays a 3-0 lead.  And as he did in his previous start, Toronto starter Drew Hutchinson showed great stuff and talent, mowing down the Baltimore Orioles with nine strikeouts in his six innings. But Jonathon Schoop took Hutchinson’s first pitch of the fifth inning and made a souvenir out of it on a screamer that cleared the playing area as fast as could ever be seen. The Lough-manufactured run also scored that inning to cut the deficit to 3-2.

But the Orioles would eat alive the Jays bullpen on this evening, scoring nine more runs on the way to an 11-4 win. All of the Birds lineup other than Ryan Flaherty contributed in a 14-hit attack. Both Adam Jones and Chris Davis had three RBIs, while Matt Wieters and Nelson Cruz added to their substantial early season totals with two each. The scoring was accomplished with the baseball beauty of closely-grouped hits that had the Orioles circling the bases.

These past two wins are demonstrative of the compositional character of this team. On most nights, if the pitchers can hold the opponent reasonably under control, The O’s offense is eventually going to outscore them.

The Baltimore Orioles return home from this seven-game road trip that marks the completion of the first major section of the season. It was anticipated to be a tough stretch against all the AL East opponents and the Detroit Tigers. The Birds are 11-10 in the 22-game stretch, with a rainout to be made up later. Given the loss of Manny Machado, the relative absence of power hitting, and the poor starting pitching, the Orioles are actually in good shape to have the record they possess at this time. Baltimore has played 13 of their 21 games on the road.

At home this weekend, the Orioles will play a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals. KC was beaten by the Indians last night 5-1, and they have opened the season with a 10-11 record. First baseman Eric Hosmer and short stop Alcides Escobar are off to great starts, hitting .301 and .300 respectively. DH Billy Butler is having the opposite experience, batting just .195 with only two doubles as all of his extra base hits in 77 at bats.

The series will also feature the return of former Oriole Danny Valencia, who is 3-for-11 with a homer in four games so far this year.

The Baltimore Orioles will be facing a very good 22-year-old pitcher named Yorlando Ventura. This will be only his seventh career start and game, with a current ERA of 3.05 in 32 innings. I don’t think he’s intimidated! This will be his fourth start this season. After giving up only one run in 13 combined innings against the Rays and Texans, the Twins got to him in his last outing for four runs in four innings.

The Orioles will counter with Ubaldo Jimenez. So yes, the game is a battle between Yorlando and Ubaldo. I wonder if Dominicans make fun of American names in baseball blogs down there!

Baltimore’s $50 million man has not had a good experience so far this season. He is yet to have a good game in his previous four starts, and he comes into this game with a record of 0-3 and ERA of 6.75.  He clearly does not like cold weather, and sadly the forecast is for 56 degrees at game time with a 70% chance of rain.

Jimenez is 4-2 over nine career starts against the Royals. Hosmer has good numbers against him, being 8-for-22 with a pair of homers. Butler is 6-for-22 with a homer. Most of the rest of the Royals hitters have been pretty well managed by Ubaldo…

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

Billy Butler

22

6

1

0

1

3

5

4

.273

Alcides Escobar

23

3

2

0

0

4

2

3

.130

Eric Hosmer

22

8

0

0

2

6

4

4

.364

Alex Gordon

23

5

0

0

0

1

2

6

.217

Mike Moustakas

23

4

2

0

0

0

2

8

.174

Omar Infante

16

3

0

1

0

4

0

3

.188

Salvador Perez

13

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

.154

Jarrod Dyson

6

2

1

0

0

0

2

4

.333

Danny Valencia

6

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

.167

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