The Orioles won tonight, but the team suffered a big blow when Manny Machado sprained his right knee while batting in the bottom of the third inning. It wasn’t the surgically-repaired knee, but it’s still a big loss for the team. Machado had already missed a month, he plays great defense, and his bat was heating up. As of this writing the injury was diagnosed only as a right knee sprain, and he was set to be re-evaluated on Tuesday. No word yet on whether, or how long, he'll be out.
Bud Norris started and spent most of the evening trying to hit the low and away corner but couldn’t quite place the ball where he needed it. This resulted in a pretty high pitch count and an exit after five innings. Although he walked just one, he never quite seemed to get in a groove. But you can’t argue with the five strikeouts, zero home runs, and a 56.3% ground ball rate.
He was charged with three earned runs, the last two coming on a Scooby Doo-esque carnival show. In the top of the second, Carlos Beltran led off with a walk and moved to third on Chase Headley’s single. With Francisco Cervelli at the plate, Headley attempted to steal second. Caleb Joseph fired to second, but Headley stopped midway to second and slowly backed up to first base. Jonathan Schoop and Steve Pearce tried briefly to run him down, but Pearce noticed Beltran was caught in between two fielders down the third base line. He fired to Machado while Beltran broke for the plate. Manny threw home but the ball caromed off of Beltran’s helmet and shot along the wall behind home plate.
One run scored, but the play wasn’t over. Norris fielded the ball and tossed it underhand to Joseph, or at least in the general direction of Joseph, probably trying to end the play or at least thinking it was over already. But Joseph wasn’t paying attention, so the ball rolled untouched towards the third base dugout. Headley, who by this time had reached third base, saw this and broke for home plate. Norris realized his mistake and ran to field the ball, but Machado reached it first and flipped the ball to him. The throw/flip was actually in plenty of time to nail Headley, but the ball bounced out of Norris’s glove (or was never in it) and the second run scored.
If you didn’t get all that, just play some Yakety Sax and watch:
After that play, it was 3-1 Yankees. When Manny went down and was taken out in the bottom of the third, all hope seemed lost. That, plus the Little League defensive lapse in the second, made it feel like this game would be another frustrating loss. But the Orioles pulled together and rallied. Schoop, who’d singled to lead off the inning and moved to second on Manny’s groundout, scored one batter later when Adam Jones poked a single over the head of Derek Jeter. That made the score 3-2.
The Orioles took the lead in the fifth when Chris Davis, who was inserted into the lineup to replace Machado, launched a monster two-run shot off of Yankees starter Chris Capuano to make it 4-3. Two innings later, Nick Markakis scored on an Adam Jones double, and Jones himself scored when Nelson Cruz blasted his 31st dinger of the year. Just like that it was 7-3 Orioles.
But they weren’t done yet. They continued the barrage of home runs in the 8th when Schoop homered with two runners on to make it 10-3. But … no, the scoring still wasn’t done. Chris Davis singled, Adam Jones doubled him to third, and David Lough drove in the Orioles’ 11th run with an infield single that Headley couldn’t make a play on. Tommy Hunter set the Yankees down in order 1-2-3 in the ninth, and that was that.
The two teams face off again tomorrow when rookie Shane Green opposes Wei-Yin Chen.