Written by Chris Slade
Today's game pitted Ubaldo Jimenez against Royals ace James Shields. The Royals struck first on an RBI single by Billy Butler. The Orioles then took a 3-1 lead in the 3rd inning on a two-run single by Nick Markakis, followed by a sac fly from Manny Machado. The rest of the afternoon consisted of the Alex Gordon show as he put the Royals up 8-3 on not one but two 3-run tanks. Adam Jones hit a "garbage time" 3-run tank himself in the 9th inning but the damag had been done and the O's lost by an 8-6 score.
Today was a strange game or Ubaldo Jimenez. After the Royals tacked on a run in the first, he dominated the next two frames with back-to-back innings of retiring the side in order. After striking out Billy Butler to begin the 4th, Ubaldo appeared well on his way to another quality start in May. Instead the Royals lined three straight singles to tack on another run in the 4th. After walking Norichika Aoki in the 5th, Ubaldo struck out the next two batters, once again looking like he was on his way to a quality start and a chance at a win for the O's. Instead, Billy Butler puts runners on the corners with two outs with a single and Alex Gordon came up big time with a two-out three-run bomb. Good outing gone bad. Shields settled in and gave the Royals a decent outing to pick up the win, sattling Jimenez with the loss.
Final Line: 5 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, BB, 7 K, Loss
Brad Brach took over in the 6th, tossed a scoreless inning but walked a pair.
Troy Patton entered the 7th and didn't live up to his left specialist reputation, surrendering a three-run bomb to Alex Gordon, all runs charged to Patton.
Ryan Webb pitched a scoreless 8th and struck out Pedro Ciriaco looking.
James Shields was more on his "B game" than his "A game" I'd say about today's outing. His command slipped at times and the O's were able to take advantage of it with three runs scored in the 3rd inning. It all started with a leadoff singles by JJ Hardy and David Lough, followed by a sac bunt attempt turned infield single by Jonathan Schoop to load the bases. After Nick Markakis lined a two-run single, it appeared the O's may be headed for a big inning with none down. Shields worked his way out of it with just a sac fly allowed to Manny Machado.
He allowed baserunners in each inning fromt there on, including a pair of leadoff singles in the 7th. However, the O's were not able to capitalize and did not tack on any more runs agaisnt Shields, who ultimately picked up the win. Adam Jones hit a "too little, too late" three-run bomb in the 9th off Aaron Crow.
Chris Davis made a few nice scoops over at first base on throws by JJ Hardy. Neither team committed an error.
Key Moments In The Game
Alex Gordon coming up with a perfectly timed three-run homer with two outs in the 5th to give the Royals a lead as well as putting the O's away for good with another three-run homer in the 7th. Did I mention it was the Gordon show today?
Other Notes/ Musings
Disappointing to see the Birds drop this one after jumping out to a 3-1 lead. If only Ubaldo Jimenez pitched like he did his last outing...
Well, the birds scored 6 runs today for the first time since May 1st, but still haven't scored more than 6 in a game all May. When you look at the names and track records in this lineup, that's unacceptable. They better pick it up soon.
With today's loss, the O's drop to 2nd place behind the Yankees. Hated typing those words.
O's have OFF tomorrow, then head to Pittsburgh for a two-game set.
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