If you’re a mother and an Orioles fan, then there is a good chance you had a happy Mother’s Day this past Sunday.
Things didn’t start off so well though for the O’s or Baltimore’s starter Chris Tillman. The Oakland Athletics put up three runs in the first inning but Tillman settled down and wound up blanking the A’s the rest of the way. When it was all said and done, Tillman turned in his fourth quality start as he allowed just those three runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. Tillman struck out seven and walked four.
Thankfully the Orioles didn’t stay down for long. In the bottom of the first, Joey Rickard drew a leadoff walk in front of Manny Machado hit a home run to center to cut into the Oakland lead. The bottom of the second produced more power from Baltimore as Pedro Alvarez blasted a solo home run onto Eutaw St. which was followed by a solo home run by Jonathan Schoop to give the O’s the lead for good.
The bottom of the third saw a two-run shot from Mark Trumbo before Rickard got in on the home run barrage with a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth inning. By this point the Orioles were up 7-3 as they headed into the bottom of the eighth inning, where the game was completely put out of reach, if it wasn’t already.
Schoop started off the eighth with a lead-off walk before Ryan Flaherty walked as well. Rickard singled to load the bases with nobody out and Machado knew what to do from there. Machado took the full-count pitch and deposited it over the left-center field wall to wrap up the scoring at 11-3.
For the day, Machado was 2 for 4 with those two home runs and six runs batted in. On the season, Machado is batting .350 with a .403 on base percentage to go along with his nine home runs and 22 runs batted in. One interesting split for Machado is that he is batting .425 at home with a .475 on base percentage. Note to opposing teams: try something new, because whatever they’re doing to Machado isn’t working. What makes this lineup so special is that pitchers have to pitch to Machado because after him in the batting order is Chris Davis, so they need to figure things out.
As it sits right the O’s have a half game lead in the AL East but there is still a lot of baseball yet to play.
By Andy Mindzak