On Sunday, the Baltimore Orioles found themselves trailing by five runs after the first inning to the Detroit Tigers, a team that they are competing against for the final wild-card spot in the American League. Then, the Orioles did what they do best: play Orioles baseball.
Wei-Yin Chen got off to a rough start in the first. Chen allowed five runs in the first inning with only one out before settling down the rest of the way. Chen would eventually go on to pitch five innings, allowing only those five runs.
Baltimore would get four of those runs back in the second inning. Chris Davis led off with a home run to get the O’s on the board before Nick Markakis doubled to drive in a run. J.J. Hardy then followed with a double of his own, driving in Markakis as well as Taylor Teagarden, making the score 5-4.
Baltimore would take the lead for good in the fourth inning, scoring three more times against Doug Fister. Nate McLouth tripled to right center and drove in Markakis and Hardy before Adam Jones drove in McLouth to give the O’s the edge, 7-5.
Baltimore’s bullpen did the rest. Luis Ayala followed Chen by pitching a scoreless sixth inning before Darren O’Day pitched into the eighth before turning the ball over to Pedro Strop. Pedro did his job before giving way to Jim Johnson, who pitched a perfect ninth, not allowing any runs, hits, or walks, earning him his 37th save of the season, which is only eight behind the franchise record of 45 set by Randy Myers in 1997.
McLouth summed it up after the game: “I think today was a perfect example: being down 5-0 20 minutes into the game and shutting them down the rest of the way. That’s the type of team we’ve got, and it’s fun to be a part of.”
Nate certainly hit the nail on the head because that is the type of team they have this year, which has been a joy to watch.
Currently Baltimore has the last wild-card spot, but there are a few teams in the hunt, namely the Tigers, Oakland Athletics, and Los Angeles Angels. These last 40 games of the regular season will certainly show us what the Orioles are made of. No matter what happens, they have certainly put on a great show this year.
by Andy Mindzak