Baltimore Orioles: Offense Wins Another for the Birds


May 22, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jimmy Paredes (38) connects for a base hit during the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time this week, it was the offense of the Baltimore Orioles that simply outscored the opposition and gave the team a victory. The O’s were able to tally eight runs on 11 base hits, assisted also by seven walks, as they beat the Marlins 8-5.

This is the team we expected to see in 2015. It is a squad with more than adequate pitching talent, but a team also that would look to have the firepower to overwhelm opponents even on evenings when the pitchers are struggling.

And Friday evening was a struggling night for the pitching staff. Ubaldo Jimenez was not as sharp as in other outings this year. His fastball did not have the run or sink we have been seeing, and he only lasted four innings. The Marlins opened to an early 3-0 lead.

And all totaled, the Orioles pitching staff would yield 14 base hits – though they were scattered. And many of them seemed to have eyes to make it between infielders (honestly a common theme this year). But the Marlins were only given one free pass from Orioles pitching – who for the second straight day had a “bend without entirely breaking” sort of effort. Miami was a combined 3-for-15 in RISP situations.

Tommy Hunter (also for the second consecutive day) got the Orioles out of a jam and pitched two scoreless innings. Rookie Tyler Wilson registered his first career win in relief of UJ.

The game-changing play was a throwing error by the Marlins’ starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez, who fielded a bunt from J.J. Hardy (on a 3-2 pitch – who says Buck doesn’t like small ball?) and failed to get the lead runner at third base by wildly throwing the ball into the left-field corner. The resulting run tied the game and set up a total turnaround.

The big hits for the Orioles were a trio of two-RBI knocks.

Delmon Young again displayed his great pinch-hitting skills by batting for Ubaldo in the fifth inning and driving a ball over the center fielder’s head for a two-run double.

Perhaps the biggest hit of the game was the tie-breaking two-RBI single in the sixth inning by Caleb Joseph. He looked overmatched by Marlins reliever Steve Ciscek, but with two strikes really centered a ball by driving it hard up the middle and into center field, giving the Birds a 5-3 lead.

Manny Machado had a two-hit, three-RBI night in front of his hometown crowd, with his best hit being a two-run double in the top of the 8th inning to give the O’s a four-run cushion at 8-4.

Jimmy Paredes continued with his amazing hitting by going 3-for-5 on the evening. He is now batting .353.

But most of all it was good to see Joseph have a good game. Even though the very impressive Dee Gordon stole four bases on the evening, I would put those steals against the pitcher (three against Jimenez). But Caleb stroked three singles along with a walk to raise his average to .279.  After batting .327 in April, Joseph had trailed off to only .196 in May … before Friday night.

So the Orioles have now won four of their past five games. A win today will put them back at .500 for the season.

Next: It took 196 pitches and almost 6 hours to win a game

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