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Orioles 5, Athletics 1: Walks? Sacrifice Flies? Who are these people?

The Orioles used what the entire broadcasting team delightedly (and constantly) referred to as small ball to score 5 runs and beat the Athletics 5-1. Jeremy Guthrie didn't have his best night ever, but he managed to get through 6 innings allowing just one run.

In his six innings pitched, Guthrie didn't have any 1-2-3 innings, he allowed the leadoff batter to reach three times, and he allowed multiple base runners three times. Luckily for the Orioles, the A's were only able to take advantage once. In the second inning, Guthrie walked the lead off batter, Jack Cust. After a flyout, Gabe Gross doubled to right field, moving Cust to third where he would score on a ground out by Mark Ellis (sadly Cust did not fall down on his way from third to home). Guthrie then retired Corey Patterson's little brother Eric to end the inning and the A's wouldn't score again. The A's left 9 men on base in all as Guthrie allowed 7 hits and 3 walks in his six innings. He struck out 2.

Mark Hendrickson had a very effective game out of the bullpen to follow Guthrie, pitching the 7th and 8th innings and allowing just 1 hit and no walks. Will Ohman then pitched a perfect 9th with two strikeouts to close out the game. I don't know why. The Orioles had a four run lead at the time, so surely it was the best time to use the Orioles' best reliever, the one who has the most appearances in the American League.

The O's offense got runners on each of the first three innings but were unable to score against Dallas Braden until the fourth, and even then it wasn't pretty. Braden walked Nick Markakis and Miguel Tejada to start the inning and after Markakis was eliminated in a fielders choice by Wigginton, Adam Jones grounded to first base in what should have been an inning ending double play. Instead, the A's shortstop threw the ball away on the return throw to first and Tejada came in to score the tying run.

They scored two more runs in the 6th inning, again started by Markakis and Tejada taking walks to start the inning. They'd end up on 2nd and 3rd after a wild pitch and sacrifice flies by Ty Wigginton and Adam Jones brought them both in. Small ball!

In the bottom of the 8th the Orioles said, "Screw small ball." Nick Markakis led off the inning with a home run onto the flag court, his third of the year. The man has a beautiful swing, don't you think? After a one out walk by Ty Wigginton, Matt Wieters pulled the ball to right for a double off of the scoreboard to knock in the O's fifth and final run.

All in all a nice, normal win by the Orioles. No big meltdowns, no big comebacks. The kind of stress free win we don't get to see too often by the team.