In the first game of the series, the Orioles had nine hits, all singles. Much has been made of their inability to hit for power this season, which is why last night's game was so fun to watch. They also had nine hits in that game, only this time five of them were for extra bases. It is surprisingly easy to score runs when that happens. Take note, Orioles! Home runs and doubles are good!
Also good is when a team has to rely on a spot starter and said starter pitches five shutout innings. That's what Chris Jakubauskas did last night for the Orioles in his first start in over a year. Jack O'Boskie allowed just three hits and one walk over those five innings, and he struck out five. He never allowed a runner past second base, and he could have pitched longer but he got hit with a line drive on his shin from Cliff Pennington in the fifth inning. He retired the final batter of the inning, but Buck Showalter opted to take him out of the game as a precaution after that.
Leadoff hitter J.J. Hardy looked right at home in his new place in the lineup. He ripped the second pitch he saw against A's starter Guillermo Moscoso into the left field stands for his fifth home run of the year. Seriously, can we extend this man already? It was Hardy's only hit of the night, but it was a good one.
The bats were relatively quiet over the next several innings as Matt Wieters singled with one out in the second but was stranded. In the fourth, Adam Jones and Vladimir Guerrero singled back-to-back with no outs, but Derrek Lee grounded into a double play to halt a potential rally.
Luke Scott led of the fifth inning, and as Eat More Esskay and I talked about how terrible he's been this year and how he should go on the disabled list already, Luke launched a ball to right field. For some reason, right fielder David DeJesus set up like he was about to catch the ball, but then he just turned and watched it sail onto Eutaw Street. It was the sixth time in his career that Scott had hit a ball onto Eutaw Street, and he is now the leader in that category. Going into last night's game, he and Rafael Palmeiro had been tied with five Eutaw bombs each. Congrats, Luke! Just keep doing that and everyone will stop saying they wish you weren't playing.
Luke's home run was the seventh of the year, which tied him for second on the team with Jones. That tie lasted one inning, as with one out in the sixth, Jones hit a bomb of his own to left field, giving him a total of eight. Aren't home runs fun, guys? Do it more often!
The Orioles added another run in the seventh inning, again with some help from Scott. He hit a drive to the right-center gap that looked like it might be his second home run of the game, but it fell a bit short and he had to settle for a double. He was removed for pinch runner Felix Pie, who promptly scored on a double by Mark Reynolds. That was it for the scoring, although Jones did hit another single in the eighth for his third hit of the game.
After Jakubauskas left the game, Showalter turned to Clay Rapada to start the sixth. The A's had two lefties coming up and Rapada got two quick ground outs. Having learned his lesson about letting Rapada face righties, Buck replaced him immediately with Jeremy Accardo, who had another good game. He pitched 2.1 innings and gave up zero runs and two singles. Koji Uehara came on to pitch a perfect ninth inning, and that was the ballgame.
The Orioles go for the sweep tonight, which would also even the season series with the A's at 3-3. Zach Britton will take the mound for the Orioles, looking to put a stop to his two game slide. The A's counter with the perfectly named Josh Outman, who gave up two runs in six innings against the Orioles on May 28th.