If you take the last week or so in isolation, it seems like it's pretty good to be an Oriole and an Orioles fan, right? The starters are going deep into games, the pen's been adequate, Jeremy Guthrie's learned how to win...
What's that? Oh, well. Baby steps.
At any rate, tonight was almost a quintessential Guts outing. He got into an early jam, walking two batters in the 2nd and surrendering a three run shot to Brett Lawrie, and also miraculously escaped a bases-loaded jam in the 5th unscathed with an over the fence, home run-saving grab by the Gazelle added in for good measure. Guts ended up going 6 innings, striking out 5 and throwing a total of 111 pitches. He left with a lead, too, but you wouldn't know it from the final result.
Offensively, the night was full of surprises. I'd be lying if I said I was surprised by Matt Wieters hitting his 15th home run in the 2nd inning, because frankly, Wieters has been on fire this month. Taking the lead on an extra base hit by Vlad Guerrero following an Adam Jones walk frankly blew my mind, especially given the two double plays Adam Jones had already grounded into and the simple Vladness of Vlad. In another odd turn, the O's worked the Jays for 8 walks, including two a piece by Nick Markakis and Mark Reynolds.
Defensively, it was sort of a mixed bag. Mark Reynolds continued to look at sharp at first, Robert Andino looked nimble at third and Ryan Adams looked solid at second. However, Matt Wieters failed to make plays on a foul ball and a ball in the dirt he usually makes, Nick Markakis and Matt Angle misplayed balls hit off the wall and howler of howlers, the Jays finnagled a double steal with the infield playing in on a suspected bunt attempt.
Jim Johnson worked two innings to preserve the lead and serve as a bridge between Guthrie and the adrenaline cowboy. Kevin Gregg "worked" the ninth pitching poor enough to give the lead, but not quite poor enough to lose. The wheel of fortune turned in an unfavorable direction when Willie Eyre allowed the Jays to take the lead, following Kelly Johnson's triple and a wild pitch.
Fortunately, bullpen inadequacy is not the sole province of the Orioles. Brian Tallett took the mound in the bottom of the 10th and promptly walked Wieters and Reynolds. The completion of the second Robert Andino sacrificial fiasco of the evening brought Jake Fox to the plate who whacked a game tying single. Ryan Adams was able to finish the game on the heels of a great at bat on a pitch he smacked off the wall in right center that scored Mark Reynolds.