The Baltimore Orioles won an an important game tonight with a 5-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays easily handled Baltimore in the season series last year, and beat the O's up in the initial game between the teams last night.
The O's didn't play particularly well tonight, but it was satisfying that they found a way to beat Ricky Romero, who is one of the best pitchers in the American League. With the lack of production from the O's offense, it would have been fairly predictibable if the Orioles were completely over-matched tonight. Instead, they battled, receving the big blast in the form of the Mark Reynolds Grand Slam.
I'll feel even better about this win, if the O's can find a way to win the series tomorrow.
1) The juggling act becomes more complicated for Showalter, but I'm glad to see Lee back in an O's uniform. His bat was just coming to life when he went on the DL, and while I don't expect him to put up his '09 numbers - I'm still hopeful he can approximate what we he did in the second half last year for Atlanta.
1a) Seeing Lee have two hits, was nice as well. He also made several nice plays at 1st.
2) After 37 hits in May, Adam Jones now has 6 hits in his first 3 games in June.
3) Batting from the right-side against the lefty Romero, Wieters hooked a ground-rule double in the 2nd. This gave the O's runners on 2nd and 3rd with none out. In the 6th, Wieters loaded the bases with another hit off Romero.
4) With the bases loaded and none out in the 3rd, Reynolds made the right decision going home on a grounder. Wieters was able to quickly fire to 1st to complete the double-play.
4a) Reynolds had a very good play in the 6th, ranging to his left and making a strong throw.
4b) In the bottom of the 6th, Reynolds hit his first career Grand Slam. It was a shot of needed confidence for both Reynolds and the O's.
5) After not being able to throw out Rivera at 2nd or 3rd (really both steals were on Arrieta), Wieters did throw out McCoy at 2nd in the 4th.
6) Two hits for Markakis.
7) For the 9th time this year, Arrieta gave the O's at-least 6 innings, while allowing 3 er or less. Unlike some of his earlier outings, this was more of a struggle. The mechanical issues that plagued him the last two starts were still prevelant tonight. However, the overall results were better. The biggest positive for Arrieta tonight was finding a way to get out of the 3rd without any damage.
7a) 6 innings, 5 hits, 3 er, 1 hr, 4 bb's, 1 k. Arrieta moves to 7-3.
8) Johnson made quick work of the Jays in the 7th.
9) Uehara struck out the side in the 8th, including Bautista.
10) Two walks for Reimold.
11) Gregg picked up his 10th save with a scoreless 9th, which included 2 k's.
1) Arrieta allowed his 10th homerun in the 1st tonight. Simply too many big flies against the O's young RHP. Facing a Cy Young candidate like Romero, you hate falling behind right away. In the 2nd, Rivera reached base on an infield single to start the inning. Arrieta made things worse with an errant pick-off attempt. Down 2-0, with a runner on 2nd and 2 out - Arrieta walked McCoy for his second walk of the 2nd inning, turning the lineup over. In the 3rd, Patterson successfully reached 1st on a bunt single bringing up Bautista. I'm sure the O's talked extensively about not allowing Baustista to beat them, but I hated the approach the O's took with him here. Arrieta quickly threw 4 balls out of the strike zone to walk the Jays slugger. I thought this carried over to the next ab, with the walk to Lind to load the bases. Hill did not advance, but Arrieta over threw 1st on a ball in the 5th he should have ate.
2) Markakis was picked off to end the 3rd.
None. The O's entered tonight 3 games behind Toronto for 4th place in the AL East. After losing last night, and facing Romero tonight; there was a real chance to be facing a sweep at-home tomorrow.
The O's found a way to win, and now have a chance to get a series win over their divisional foe tomorrow.
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