The Orioles played an absolutely ridiculous game tonight that happily ended in a win. Their six-game losing streak is over, wiped away by the biggest dong I have ever seen off the bat of Chris Davis. It came very close to hitting the freaking scoreboard in center field. It was a monster, and his second home run of the game to boot. He even included a delicious bat flip. Some people don't like that kind of thing, but when you hit a ball as far as he did, I say flip away! Words can't really describe this dinger, so let me hook you up with some visuals:
Chris Davis KILLED a baseball for the walk-off and then things got weird. pic.twitter.com/1MVqmRPMC1— Cork Gaines (@CorkGaines) September 3, 2015
And the glorious bat flip:
Davis with a SAVAGE bat flip https://t.co/8F9CyfZGYw— Eroc RDT (@BarstoolRDT) September 3, 2015
After all of the losing and misery, this game was a very nice palate cleanser. I don't necessarily expect them to go on a tear and start a long winning streak, but I'm going to enjoy tonight.
Things didn't start out so wonderfully, though. In fact the game was downright miserable for awhile. After a 1-2-3 inning thanks to a sweet grab by Steve Pearce, Gausman gave up three straight singles in the second that would have resulted in a run if not for an awesome throw home by Adam Jones. But it was in the third inning that the shenanigans really began. And when I say shenanigans, I mean fire up the circus music and get ready to make some Bad New Bears comparisons, because this inning was BAD.
First up was J.P. Arencibia, who hit a monster shot to left field that ricocheted off of the cement wall behind the lower deck seats. The umpires called it a home run, but replay seemed to clearly show a foul ball. What everyone assumed would be a quick review lasted nearly four minutes before the umpires declined the change the call. It was pretty shocking, because it seemed like an open and shut case. Maybe the ball was too high for them to gauge where it crossed the foul pole? I don't know. All I know is that it looked foul to me without any doubt.
Gausman was clearly shaken by the long delay, and issued a five-pitch walk to Grady Sizemore, who then got thrown out stealing. No harm! Well, after a Brandon Guyer double, Evan Longoria crushed a baseball to left field to another home run that gave the Rays a 3-0 lead. Gausman then induced a grounder but dropped the ball when Davis fed it to him at first base. He got tripped up on the base and fell down, it wasn't good.
The following play was a double by Logan Forsythe that Gerardo Parra made a terrible attempt on, then a walk loaded the bases for James Loney, who hit a weak pop fly that fell into no-man's land in behind second base and allowed one more run to score.
That was it for Gausman, and it wasn't pretty. Some things happened that were out of his control, but he also just straight up fell apart. Chaz Roe came in and got a double play ball to end the inning, but with a four-run defecit it felt like another lousy night for the Orioles.
Instead of rolling over and going quietly into the night, however, the Orioles flipped the script and came back to score four runs in the bottom of the inning. After Manny Machado singled in Pearce, Parra doubled to knock in Manny. He was on base for Chris Davis's first home run of the night, a game tying shot to center field.
The doom and gloom set in again in the sixth inning when the Rays scored the go-ahead run on back-to-back doubles, and it didn't really seem to matter when Longoria hit his second home run of the night off of Darren O'Day in the eighth. This beaten down Orioles fan didn't give a thought to the idea that the O's might come back and score even one more run. But in the bottom of the ninth, they did just that.
After a walk by Matt Wieters, young Jonathan Schoop stepped to the plate. We all know he has power, and he showed it off right there against Brad Boxberger with a no-doubter hit to left field. Tie game! I couldn't believe it. The Orioles and Rays headed to extra innings with the game tied 6-6.
Brad Brach was a real hero of this game, as he came on in the tenth inning and pitched two scoreless innings with no hits and two walks. His reward was a W on his record, because it was in the bottom of the 11th that Chris Davis hit the monster dong that was detailed above.
O's win! What a nice thing to get to type after 12 losses in their last 13 games. They'll be off tomorrow as they travel to Toronto to play the Blue Jays starting Friday. Gulp.