The Orioles finally won a game in their series against the Texas Rangers. They won the game much like they lost the previous two games - because of home runs. In this game they gave up as many home runs as they hit themselves, but one of the O's home runs came with a man on base. That helped them to a 4-2 victory, giving them a chance to split the series on Thursday.
Not to be lost among the latest dong party at Oriole Park at Camden Yards is that O's starter Wei-Yin Chen pitched a fantastic game. Though he was touched up for a pair of solo home runs by some frustrating suspects, namely Shin-Soo Choo and Ryan Rua, he was otherwise masterful, turning in an eight inning start in which he only gave up four hits and a walk.
That's a mighty good way to give your team a chance to come back and win a game, even if it is kind of crazy that Choo, who came into the series batting .225/.309/.371 on the season, has now homered in three straight games. Choo got the Rangers on board first with a third inning home run. Rua added one the very next inning.
The 2-0 deficit did not stand still for very long, because this is Baltimore, and the Orioles are also capable of hitting a lot of home runs in their ballpark. Jimmy Paredes got things started by walloping a hanging pitch from Rangers starter Nick Martinez into the right field seats. Paredes hit his home run on a 1-2 pitch, right after he took a hanging pitch for a strike, prompting Jim Palmer to say, "He could have swung at that and hit it for a home run."
The next pitch from Martinez was in just about the same place. Paredes swung at that one and hit his 10th home run of the season. If anyone out there, including Jimmy Paredes, picked him to hit double digit home runs this year, please give yourself a pat on the back and also be aware that no one believes you.
It took until the sixth inning for the O's to tie the game up. Ryan Flaherty led off the inning with a double. He noticed Delmon Young got DFA'd today and he doesn't want to be taken off the roster before he is able to win Anna Kendrick's heart with his awesome performance. That last sentence is a joke, by the way. It's just a joke that the collective Camden Chat community wants to be true.
After Flaherty's double, the Orioles got a gift on a rare misplay by Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, who simply failed to field a sharp ground ball that went right through his legs. Beltre was playing about even with the grass line in case Manny Machado bunted, and instead Machado ripped one right through the wickets, as Gary Thorne likes to say. That was Beltre's seventh error this year.
What it meant for the Orioles was a first and third situation with nobody out. Unfortunately, they made the least of it that they possibly could have. Flaherty scored when Paredes hit into a fielder's choice that was just barely not a double play - and then Adam Jones followed up by hitting into a double play. The score was tied. They could have gotten more and didn't, but as it turned out, they didn't end up regretting it.
Martinez, who had mostly cruised through six innings, giving up only three hits in that time, came out for the seventh. Almost before he could blink he had blown the game. Chris Davis led off with a single to center, which meant he was on base when J.J. Hardy crushed a 400 foot home run into the left field seats to give the O's a 4-2 lead.
Staked to that lead, Chen set down the Rangers 1-2-3 in the eighth inning. He'd thrown only 87 pitches and probably could have gone for the complete game, but manager Buck Showalter decided to give Zach Britton a little bit of work in the save situation. Chen tends to have worse results in the 85-100 pitch range, so that's not the worst decision, and hopefully it will keep him a little fresher for his next start, also.
Britton mowed down three fools in short order, striking out the side for his 22nd save of the year. They had no chance. This was enough for Britton to get the MASN post-game interview, although he did not receive a pie to the face. There is presently a movement to pie a reliever at some point in time, as this has not been done by the team. Tonight was not the night.
The O's can grab the split in this four game series if they're able to win the finale on Thursday night. Yovani Gallardo, who's having an excellent season, is the Texas starter for the 7:05 scheduled start. The O's will be calling up Kevin Gausman for the spot start due to Sunday's doubleheader causing a disruption in the O's rotation.