Birds House: Armed in Extra Innings

Written by on June 13, 2012 in Featured, Orioles, Sports - No comments

Photo by Shawn Levin

Working overtime can be a drag. We all hate long days at the office. The Baltimore Orioles, however, seem to embrace long days at the office as they took two of three from the Philadelphia Phillies this past weekend, with both wins coming in extra innings.

Saturday’s win took 12 innings, as Baltimore surrendered the tying run in the eighth inning. Adam Jones then took matters into his hands as he hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 12th to propel the O’s to a 6-4 win. That was his third homer in extra innings, by the way, which ties him with the likes of Frank Robinson (1969) and Eddie Murray (1978)—and it’s only June. Chances are Jonesy will own that record all by himself come October.

Sunday’s game was more of a struggle. Falling behind early to the Phils by a 4-1 margin was not a good idea, especially when you consider they were facing Cliff Lee, but Steve Tolleson hit a three-run home run to tie the score in the fourth inning before Matt Wieters doubled in Jones in the bottom of the 11th and Baltimore won 5-4.

So far this season, the Orioles have been involved in 11 extra-inning affairs. After losing their first two, they have won their last nine in a row, which is a new Oriole record. During the 2011 season, Baltimore went 8-8 in extra inning games, but you can attribute much of their late inning success this year to their bullpen.

Luis Ayala has been great for the O’s this year, with his 1.93 ERA and a nasty sinker. Darren O’Day, the under armer, is sporting a 1.84 ERA. His funky side arm delivery has caused problems for opposing hitters all year. And Pedro Strop—whom the Orioles received in trade for alleged reliever Mike “Where’s the Plate?” Gonzalez, is leading the team with 11 holds and an ERA of 1.48.

From the Department of Good News, it looks like Brian Roberts might actually be activated from the disabled list and should join the club Tuesday. Left-handed pitcher Zach Britton was activated and is now beginning his rehab.

And if that’s not enough in the plus column, the Orioles picked up 49-year-old pitcher Jamie Moyer. Moyer was released by the Colorado Rockies and made his first start on Saturday with Triple A Norfolk. Moyer pitched well, throwing five shutout innings while allowing only one hit as he struck out five.

As we’ve found out this year and years past, it can’t hurt to have enough arms, even if that arm is 49 years old.

by Andy Mindzak

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