Orioles 5, Blue Jays 6: Do Not Walk An Izturis Brother With The Bases Loaded

Patrick Smith

Jim Johnson walked Maicer Izturis on four pitches with the bases loaded to lose the game for the Orioles.

The bases were loaded with two outs, Jim Johnson was on the mound, and an Izturis brother was at the plate. Four pitches later, the go-ahead run crossed the plate, forced in by a walk to that same Izturis brother.

Rewind: the closer Johnson, holding the line at home in a tie game in the 11th inning, had gotten two outs, was cruising. J.P. Arencibia singled. No big deal, that just meant Munenori Kawasaki came to the plate. He singled. No big deal, that just meant Brett Lawrie, who looked terrible all day, came to the plate. Johnson hit him with a pitch to load the bases.

Rewind: Manny Machado lead off the 10th inning with a single. When Jose Bautista dropped a pop fly off the bat of Adam Jones, there were two men on, one in scoring position, with one down. Chris Davis flew out to center. Two outs, runners would go on contact. J.J. Hardy flared a single to left field. It was not especially deep. In left, Rajai Davis charged, Machado was sent by the ghost of the Windmill that haunts the third base coaching box to this day. Rajai scooped the ball on the run, threw a strike to the plate. It was like if Carl Crawford made the play on Game 162 of 2011.

Rewind: Brandon Morrow was cruising through the Orioles lineup, but Blue Jays manager John Gibbons left him in perhaps a little too long. A walk to Nolan Reimold was followed by a Ryan Flaherty double: 5-3 Orioles. Aaron Loup came on in relief and he had no answer for Nate McLouth. Nate singled in the run, stole second to put himself in scoring position. That was unnecessary, it turned out, because Machado tripled, one of the easiest triples you will ever see. A 5-2 deficit became a tie game in the 7th inning.

Rewind: Josh Stinson gave up a home run to Arencibia. He gave up a home run to Rajai Davis. He gave up a home run to Edwin Encarnacion. He gave up a home run to Bautista.

On the day, there was McLouth, Machado, and a fat lot of nothing for the Orioles. McLouth scored three runs, and the two of them combined for four of the eight hits. McLouth reached base twice more on walks. Well, there was a little of the bullpen: Tommy Hunter, Darren O'Day, and Troy Patton all threw 1.1 innings of scoreless relief. That was what Johnson was in line to do until he could not record the final out of the 11th.

The loss was the Orioles first in extra innings in the regular season since last April, when they lost those two extra-inning games in a row to the Yankees before going on to win the next 16 straight contests last season. In my heart, this streak died in Game 3 of the ALDS, but that's not what the statistics people will say.

The go-ahead run scored on a four-pitch bases-loaded walk to Maicer Izturis. I don't want to write about this game any more.

This afternoon's contest was the last of the current homestand, with the Orioles about to embark on an 11-game west coast road trip. Prepare yourselves for late nights. There is no off day. The next game is Thursday at 10:05pm Eastern in Oakland, with Jason Hammel of the O's taking on Jarrod Parker of the A's.

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