With Jim Johnson unable to pitch due to illness, Pedro Strop pitched admirably and earned his first save in the Big Leagues as the Orioles went on to defeat the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1.
Johnson missed the game due to having the flu, so that meant Strop got the nod in the ninth, but let’s start with Tommy Hunter, shall we?
Coming off his worst outing of the season against the Chicago White Sox where he surrendered eight earned runs, Hunter turned things around in a big way against the Blue Jays. Hunter threw six innings and allowed only one earned run on three hits. Besides the home run Hunter allowed to Eric Thames, Hunter did not allow a base runner to reach second base all game.
After Hunter’s night was over, Troy Patton, Darren O’Day, and Luis Ayala came in to bridge the gap to the ninth inning, and they did so by allowing only two hits combined over their two innings of work. O’s manager Buck Showalter then gave the ball to Strop who converted his save opportunity by striking out two hitters in the ninth with a nasty two seam fastball hanging around 96-97 mph.
Offensively, Baltimore got on the board in the bottom of the first. With the bases loaded and no one out, Adam Jones hit into a double play which scored Endy Chavez. That was the only run the O’s would get until the bottom of the fourth inning.
With the score tied at one, Matt Wieters came up and put Baltimore ahead for good with a solo shot to left field just over the outstretched glove of Thames. That was the sixth home run on the year for Wieters, putting him second in the American League behind Josh Hamilton of Texas who has eight home runs.
The win puts Baltimore at 10-7 and in a log jam atop the AL East with everyone except the Boston Red Sox. Excuse me if I don’t shed a tear.