Hooray! A victory! No joke!
Six and a third strong innings from Matusz and some timely hits drove the Orioles to an 8-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics. Only the second win of the season for the Orioles, both coming in games pitched by future ROY and Cy Young award winner Brian Matusz. Also another solid turnout in Oakland as 17 fans packed into Alamada Coliseum for the heated battle.
You had to know it'd be a great game when Brian Matusz strikes out the side in the first inning. Any Orioles fan knows better than to get all giddy at that point, knowing there is a possibility he won't pitch a complete game and we'll need the bullpen. On this day, however, Will Ohman finished off the 7th (although not before scaring us with a near throw-away on a pick off attempt) and Jim Johnson redeemed himself with 2 strong innings, picking up his first save of the season. Ohman did his best to give up runs, but Garrett Atkins made a nice play at first, knocking down an errant pick-off attempt, and the Athletics own Rajai "Mentored by Melmo" Davis inexcusably rounded second on an infield hit and got nailed by a heads-up combo of Cesar Izturis and Justin Turner.
The offense came up big today, hitting 5 for 11 with runners in scoring position (what a novelty!). Three in the third with a Ty Wigginton double down the first base line, scoring two, and a Nick Markakis single up the middle which scored Wiggy from 2nd. They added another in the 4th when Lou Montanez singled to center to score Wieters from 2nd. Although just 1 for 4, Lou actually had a pretty nice day at the plate with a few hard hit balls. Lou can hit. Deal with it. After a "rough" 4th inning where Matusz allowed a run, Nolan Reimold joined the action, crushing a double off of the left field wall and picking up 2 RBI. Wiggy added the insurance runs in the 9th, going yard and ending his day at 2-5 with 3 R and 4 RBI (now the O's RBI leader). Not too shabby, Wiggles. Not too shabby. All because he's in the best shape of his life.
I'm hitting the celebratory adult beverages because how often do we get to do this? The O's will be back at it tomorrow night in Seattle. Brad Bergesen will take the mound looking to regain his 2009 form and get the team going on the HUGE streak back to the top of the AL East. MBP poll follows the jump. First time we've had this in a while.