The Baltimore Orioles turned in yet another solid game against an AL East foe, coming away with a 4-2 victory after beating the division leading Toronto Blue Jays.
Game 67 – Toronto Blue Jays (39-29) 2 Baltimore Orioles (34-31) 4 F
W: Kevin Gausman (2-1, 3.71)
L: Mark Buehrle (10-3, 2.28)
S: Zach Britton (6, 0.79)
MVP: Delmon Young 2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R
The GOOD: The Orioles got another consistent, great game from their pitching. It has been almost a week since I have posted, but the Orioles’ pitching is certainly on the upswing. In fact, if you take away the bad starts by their ‘top pitchers,’ Chris Tillman and Ubaldo Jimenez, the pitching has been very good.
Kevin Gausman was not exactly economical with his pitch count, but he was pretty good once again. Orioles fans were a bit scared when Gausman took a hard drive off his hip, but he continued to keep hitters off balance.
Buck Showalter once again makes a move that pays off. Delmon Young had great numbers against Mark Buehrle, and he came up in the first and struck immediately, hitting a fastball from the Jays’ ace and depositing it in the left field seats on a line. This gave the Orioles a lead they wouldn’t give back.
The Orioles did quite well playing small ball in this game, picking up their other two runs that way.
The Birds’ defense once again played quite well behind Gausman and the ‘pen. The double play in the first inning was a thing of beauty, as Chris Davis noticed the speedy Jose Reyes headed to third on a ball that was hit to Manny Machado, and threw back to third, with Manny getting back and making a great tag on Reyes.
And of course, the O’s end the game with a double play, because even though their defense has been a little worse than last year, it still has been spectacular.
But before I close out the good … Nick Markakis. Nick singled in the first once again, scoring on the homer by Young. Markakis passed Brian Roberts for ninth all-time in hits for the Orioles when he later singled in a run.
The BAD: The O’s offense is not exactly hitting the cover off the ball right now, but with the pitching the way it is going, four runs will win a good amount of games. However, Chris Davis continues his Jekyll and Hyde performance, with a great game followed by one in which he struggles.
What’s NEXT: The Orioles will play Toronto for game 2 of the four-game series on Friday night, which is Fireworks Night at Camden Yards. The O’s will send the struggling Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound (2-7, 5.01) against Jays’ righty Drew Hutchison (4-4, 3.96). Ubaldo has struggled mightily with walks, and that will need to change or else Toronto may light him up.
The Orioles have the best record in their last 10 games of anyone else in the AL East. The Jays have lost 3 in a row, and if the Orioles keep going in this series, it could get them very close to first place in the AL East.
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