This was kind of a strange game. The Orioles got off to the early lead and the O's starter, Bud Norris, was looking good. Then the Yankees came back and it seemed like it might be one of those games. The Orioles were able to come back against the usually very good Yankees bullpen. And despite so close calls in the late innings, they held on for the win. So it was strange in that way, but also strange in the way there were multiple Orioles attempting to bunt and Adam Jones saw an intentional walk.
The Orioles went up 1-0 in the first on a Chris Davis RBI single. Eovaldi looked like he might have a bad night, he couldn't seem to find the strike zone and the Orioles were able to get a few men on. The second didn't see much action, but Norris continued to look good. It was the third inning where Norris started having trouble. He was able to get two outs to start the inning, but then Ellsbury doubled on a ball that just went over Adam Jones' outstretched arm. Then Headley got on and Carlos Beltran made it 2-1 with a double. And just as Norris started struggling, Eovaldi seemed to get more confortable. He allowed a lot of baserunners, but also got a lot of strikeouts on a breaking ball pitch that seemed to fool every Orioles hitter he threw it to. It was pretty frustrating watching them chase it again and again.
In the 4th, Alex Rodriguez got ahead of Norris and (after being hitless the first two games in the series) gets his 2nd hit of the night in the form of a HR to left field that went deep. After that, the Orioles were down 3-1. Norris got out of the inning without anymore damage though. Manny Machado responded in the bottom of the inning with a HR of his own, his first of the year. The Orioles were then able to load the bases for Adam Jones. As Jones was getting ready to hit, I wrote down in my notes "Stay patient Jones". I could almost feel his anticipation with his team down and the bases loaded, but could also sense a quick strikeout coming. To his credit though, Jones fouled off a couple before finally hitting a deep fly ball to CF. So close.
Norris continued to struggle in the 5th. Gregorius got on to leadoff the inning and Ellsbury, the next batter was VERY close to a HR with a flyball to RF that ended up going foul. Despite allowing another baserunner, Norris got out of the inning and the game. He wouldn't come back out for the 6th, and finished with 5 IP, 7 Ks and 2 BBs. This was better than his start last week against the Blue Jays, but there's still room for improvement.
The sixth inning was where things really got interesting. Even though the bottom of the fifth didn't see any runs for the Orioles, they got some baserunners and worked Eovaldi's pitch count high enough that he was also done after five innings. The Yankees bullpen is actually pretty good, but not tonight. The Orioles scored five runs against three of their pitchers. Schoop got things started with a long HR to the bullpen. De Aza got on and Cabrera laid down a successful bunt (his first of two) to get him to 2nd. This is where Jones got an intentional walk, which only happened to him once all of last season. I guess 4 HRs in five games will do that for you. Delmon Young pinch hit for Travis Snider and did what he does, getting a single on a slow ball between 2nd and 3rd. Chris Davis, despite three more strikeouts for him tonight, did also get 2 more RBIs after that on a double to CF. He then came in to score on a Joseph single. After all that, the Orioles led 7-3.
Brad Brach continued to pitch well in the 7th with a quick 1-2-3 inning. It looked like the Orioles may have been able to score more in the bottom of the inning when De Aza got a 1-out triple. But for some reason, Cabrera thought he's try to bunt again and ended up popping it out to the pitcher, who then threw 3rd for the double play because De Aza was running home. Fortunately, they weren't going to need another run.
Tommy Hunter came in the 8th inning and it was ugly. The Yankees got one run on a McCann sac fly after the first two Yankees were able to get on. That sac fly was almost another double, save for a great running catch by Adam Jones. With Teixiera at 3rd, Hunter threw a wild pitch that allowed him to score. Finally, A-Rod struck out to end the inning. I guess Hunter's lucky he didn't have to face Stephen Drew.
There would be no more runs in this one. The Yankees threatened in the 9th, getting a couple on against Zach Britton. Britton did not look good, needing almost 30 pitches in the 9th. Hopefully this bullpen will remember it's not spring training anymore in the next series against Boston.
The Orioles in 7-5, pushing their record to 5-4 and are now 2-1 in their three series in the young season. Next up is a 4 game series against the Red Sox in Boston.