The Baltimore Orioles rode the long ball to a win over Tampa, and then got a shut down ninth inning from Zach Britton to close it out.
Game 70 – Baltimore Orioles (36-34) 7 Tampa Bay Rays (28-44) 5 F
W: Miguel Gonzalez (4-4, 4.41)
L: Erik Bedard (3-5, 4.33)
S: Zach Britton (8, 0.74)
MVP: Steve Pearce 2/3, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 BB, 1 2B, 1 Professional Hitter
The GOOD: The Orioles got the long ball going in this game. Chris Davis had one of the most anti-climatic grand slams of all-time, as the ball hit the foul pole as David DeJesus slammed into the wall. It was only after a review that the call was confirmed.
Then, Steve Pearce, professional hitter, provided a big insurance home run when the lead was down to one and the bullpen was looking a little shaky. Pearce continues to excel in the opportunities he is given.
Nick Markakis also had two more hits in this game, including his 14th double of the season. The bottom of the order also provided some hits, with Manny Machado, Caleb Joseph and Jonathan Schoop each getting hits, and Schoop and Joseph each scoring.
Speaking of Machado, he did a really good job defensively on Tuesday, including turning a double play. Manny is getting closer to back to ‘Manny form,’ although his bat isn’t exactly where it was last year.
On the pitching side, Ryan Webb did a really good job after Miguel Gonzalez’s five-inning start. Webb got five outs, and was cruising right along, not leaving up any hits.
The BAD: Another 0-fer from Nelson Cruz, who at this point is in a bit of a slump. Cruz has always been a bit of a streaky player, but hopefully he can regain his stroke soon.
Miguel Gonzalez was not real sharp in his first game of the DL. He left up 8 hits, 2 of which were home runs and also walked two. But he earned the win despite being rusty.
Once again the set-up combination of Brian Matusz and Darren O’Day was very shaky again, and this is going to be a major source of concern if they can’t right the ship.
What’s NEXT: The Orioles will play game three as a matinee game at 1:10 p.m. from Tropicana Field on Wednesday, with Kevin Gausman (2-1, 3,71) making his third straight start, facing Rays’ young hurler Alex Cobb (2-4, 3.99). The Rays were hoping Cobb coming off the DL would really help them, but he has not been good since coming off the DL. The O’s need to pick up this series win against last place Tampa, and now they just need to win with one of their best pitchers right now, against one of Tampa’s worst. Nick Hundley can expect a start with the quick turnaround.