The Baltimore Orioles ended their 8 game losing streak last night, and tonight they ran their winning streak to two. The O's have earned at-least a series split with Minnesota, and tomorrow they will attempt to gain the series win.
With the victory, the O's pull back to within 1 game of .500 at 8-9.
1) Scott ended the 1st with a running catch into LCF. Outside of a couple games in Cleveland when he was dealing with the groin-injury (and even then he had one outstanding catch) Scott has been pretty solid in LF. He's not Pie, but he's plenty competent.
2) Britton was having trouble with his control early, so it was good to see him escape the 2nd only allowing the Cuddyer HR. His stuff just looks overpowering. In someways I enjoyed seeing the struggles with his control (88 pitches, 50 strikes) tonight. It illustrated that he does not have to be particularly 'on' for him to be effective. In his 6 innings of work, Britton allowed 5 hits, 3 er, 1 hr, 3 bb's, with 3 k's. He has made four Major League starts and he is 3-1, with a 3.16 era.
2a) Britton recorded the 2nd out of the 2nd inning himself, quickly getting off the mound on the weak grounder from Holm. Showed some athleticism on the play.
3) Nice piece of hitting by Jones with his two-run double in the 2nd. Stayed on the ball, and knocked it down the RF line extending his hitting streak to 6 games. Jones ended the game with an outstanding grab ranging back to the wall.
4) Matt Wieters smacked a 2-run HR in the 2nd, making him 6 for 6 with 10 RBI's with runners in scoring position. Anyone else sensing (hoping?) the true Matt Wieters era has arrived?
5) In the Top of the 3rd, the Twins had runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out and Cuddyer back up at the plate. A fan loudly called out for the 6-4-3 Double Play ball, and that was what Britton delivered. Andino momentarily bobbled the ball, but did a good job sticking with the play.
6) Guerrero made it 2 homers in 2 days, with a bomb to LF.
7) Per routine, another good defensive play from Lee at 1st.
8) After the two Britton walks in the 6th, Roberts made a very rangy play towards first. He not only recorded the out, but he probably prevented a run from scoring there.
9) Johnson replaced Britton in the 7th and quickly retired the side.
10) In the 8th, Markakis made a nice play holding Kubel to a single. Markakis also had 2 hits, and was robbed of a 3rd on a line-drive caught by the pitcher.
11) Gregg entered the 9th with the crowd antsy. Give credit to him for handling the pressure and nailing down his 2nd save.
1) After allowing the HR to Cuddyer, Britton would walk the next hitter (Thome) he faced. In the 6th he started the inning with a walk to Repko. After striking-out Kubel, he would walk Cuddyer. With the 4 run lead (and with his stuff) you want to see him challenge every hitter.
1a) The two Britton walks in the 6th would both come around to score on the Valencia single to CF.
2) After going 36 appearances without a walk, Uehara allowed 2 on the 17th. Tonight he walked Thome with 2 outs, allowing Valencia to bat and knock in the Twins' 4th run.
3) I could have gone either way about Britton being pulled after just 88 pitches. I understand that after the two runs in the 6th Showalter wanted to make sure Britton left the game feeling good about his overall outing. However, by pulling him there, it made your bullpen responsible for 3 innings of work.
3a) Johnson was overwhelming in the 7th, and I think he could have been brought back out for the 8th. The decision to use Gregg into the 9th worked-out, but I felt it was forced. It seems like you may have wanted to avoid that high leverage situation for Gregg. (Or perhaps the last 3 innings were completely by design, and Showalter wanted to see how Gregg would respond?)
None. The O's did what they had to do to obtain their second-straight win.
It should be a formula we see plenty of in '11, some power, efficient starting, and a capable bullpen.
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