Written by Lee Tackett
Game Wrap 8/6
Adam Jones was a perfect 4-4 with 2 RBIs, a home run, and a stolen base and Bud Norris went six strong innings to notch his second win as an Oriole as the team cruised to a 4-1 victory over the Padres. Jones picked up an RBI single in the first, a solo home run in the fourth, and two more singles in the sixth and eighth innings to pace the Orioles offense. Jim Johnson notched his 39th Save.
-Inauspicious start, leadoff triple from Will Venable but Norris settled down and got out of the first with two groundballs sandwiched around a slightly gifted strike three call on Chase Headley. Norris worked out of trouble again in the second. After a leadoff walk to Jedd Gyorko and an Alexi Amarista single that deflected off the shifted J.J. Hardy, Norris struck out Logan Forsythe on 3 pitches and induced a 4-6-3 double play from Hundley. Norris cruised through the third, fourth, and fifth innings, needing only five pitches to get through the fifth. Norris was comfortable facing national league lineup and attacked the bottom of the lineup each time he was given the opportunity.
Chris Denorfia and Headley began the sixth with back to back singles and Norris’s night of evading damage was done. Alonso followed with an RBI single to right but Norris recovered with a beautifully spotted fastball to strike out Gyorko, induced a deep fly out to Amarista, and an infield pop up from Hardy. The middle of the lineup had no trouble squaring up Norris in the inning, but he spotted his fastball better once the run came in and worked out of the jam.
Norris worked out of trouble all evening, but was able to keep the Padres off the board. All things considered, two successful starts since the trade.
-Tommy Hunter was chosen to follow Norris to work the seventh and put up a zero with a walk and a strike out.
-Brian Matusz faced two batters in the eight and struck out Headley but allowed a single on an 0-2 pitch to Yonder Alonso that he left up out over the plate.
-Darren O’Day required just two pitches to induce an inning ending double play from Gyorko. Good to see him back on the horse.
-Jim Johnson worked a scoreless night with another double play to get out of the inning.
-Nate McLouth laced a double of Edinson Volquez on the first pitch of the game and took third base after Machado was unable to move him over. Credit Adam Jones for having a fantastic at bat against Volquez to bring in McLouth on a bouncer up the middle. Jones swung through the first two breaking balls, but then worked the count, laid off a few in the same location, and muscled a single to score the run.
-Adam Jones took an absolute hack at the first pitch of the fourth inning and deposited it near the left field offices. It was the kind of swing where it was fairly clear he was looking for a pitch and crushed it.
- The O’s were on their way to go quietly in the 8th against Luke Gregerson until with two outs Jones singled up the middle, stole second base, and scored on a double down the right field line from Chris Davis.
-Machado cashed in a welcome insurance run with a single that scored Brian Roberts. The run would have scored on a McLouth sac fly, but Alexi Casilla’s bunt attempt didn’t advance the runners.
-Jones really carried the torch for the Oriole offense with a perfect four hit ball game and even grabbed stolen base number 10 on the season.
-Hopefully this doesn’t become a trend, but Davis was getting very big with his swing tonight and didn’t handle the Volquez off speed stuff well.
-Machado had a throw sail on him in the fifth to allow Hundley to reach, but thanks to an eager Padres lineup, it resulted in nothing.
Key Moments in the Game
-The Jones home run gave the Orioles initial breathing room with a 2-0 lead, but the low scoring nature of this game made it imperative that Norris limit damage when things started to go south in the sixth. As easy as it is to say, Norris made better pitches with runners on base all night and it showed in his ultimate line.
Observations and Musings
-Davis earned himself a single in the first by getting down the line and Jones took it away by trying for an extra base. You see that kind of advance when the player sees an unoccupied base, but both the catcher and shortstop were camped at third. The decision made even less sense with two outs because he would have scored on a two out hit from second regardless.
-I’m fairly certain that there isn’t a play that Machado cannot make over at third. The ease with which he makes place never ceases to amaze me.
-Nice to see Norris not act like a deer in the headlights on the base paths. He isn’t the most svelte of pitchers, but moved pretty well going from first to second to break up a double play.
-Since he would be facing the bottom of the lineup, I would have liked to have seen Norris come out for the seventh, but with the off day Thursday, the bullpen shouldn’t be taxed regardless.
-It’s never good when Buck brings a guy off the bench who is supposed to be an expert bunter and he puts it right into the wheel play as Casilla did. This team is usually so good with little things like that is was disappointing to see Casilla unable to bunt the runners over on an easy pitch to do so.
-Hearing Jim Palmer baffled at how a seagull would go about getting a piece of pizza crust into the outfield was high comedy. Gary played along well by laughing through the entire spiel.
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