Baltimore Orioles: O’s Win One in the Oriole Way


Aug 26, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop (6) connects for a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles over the past several years have been known for their ability to score a high percentage of their runs by homers. On Wednesday evening in Kansas City it was 100% on the long ball, getting eight runs on five bombs to win 8-5 over the Royals.

After falling behind early (again) by a 2-0 score, it was Manny Machado who tied the game with a two-run shot. Jonathan Schoop did the same to give the O’s a lead, with Chris Davis likewise to expand it to 6-2. And when it looked like the very tough Royals were posturing to get back into the game, Steve Pearce and Ryan Flaherty added solo shots to hold them off so that Zach Britton could finish them off.

Schoop’s home run was especially impressive, carrying surely into the high 400s of feet. It was his 10th of the year, and the O’s second baseman saw his average increase to an even .300.  It is difficult to not be excited about the overall play of Schoop this year. He has made a step forward in his development for sure. He still swings too freely, but the improvement over a year ago is exponential.

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So far this year, Schoop has a total of 192 plate appearances with 10 homers and a total of 42 strikeouts. By comparison last year, in his first 192 times to the dish, Schoop had the same number of strikeouts, but he only had five home runs and an average of .228.

The home run for Ryan Flaherty was his first since July 22, and with an additional single were only his fourth and fifth hits since that time. He also had a walk and two runs scored. If Flaherty wants to do this every night while J.J. Hardy is out, even a critic like me will support it! Before the homer, he hit a line drive into a double play with runners at the corners and none out … which had me saying to my wife, “Look, even when he hits the ball hard, it is a double disaster for the team!”

Wei-Yin Chen was not great, but he did what he does well — bend but not break, going 6.2 innings. On short notice I cannot find the reference, but I read where he has one of the very best averages against in RISP situations — like in the .130s!  That is quite a number.

A game like this leaves Orioles fans wondering how this team can lose so many games. Losing games — that is something the O’s cannot afford to do very much at all over the remaining schedule.

The Birds will look to Chris Tillman on Thursday to salvage a split of the series before going to Texas and walloping a wild card opponent.

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