I can't say I saw this coming. Not only did the Orioles win, but they did by outscoring the best offense in the majors against a pitcher that before tonight was 5-1 with a 3.13 ERA in 63.1 IP against the Orioles- by far more innings than he's pitched to any opponent. Not to mentioned Hutchinson has dominated at home and the Orioles have been terrible on the road. Jimenez even pitched decently. He had some control issues, but didn't give up any home runs and kept the team in it.
Kind of a different lineup tonight - maybe Buck found something that will work. Jimmy Paredes was back in at DH because of his success against the Blue Jays, and he was able to keep it up tonight. Manny Machado made another start at SS, with Ryan Flaherty at 3rd. Both made some great defensive plays in the game.
The Orioles were able to get on the board first tonight. In the second inning, Chris Davis hit a home run, and Ryan Flaherty drove in Parades with a double after Jose Bautista bobbled the ball in the outfield. That didn't last long though as the Jays would score one more in the bottom of that inning and one more in the bottom of the fifth. That run in the second was unearned - Machado and Jimenez couldn't connect on a throw to first. At first Machado was charged with the throwing error, but that was later changed to a catching error on Jimenez, which looked right to me.
The sixth inning lasted about as long as the rest of the game combined. For the O's, Adam Jones got things started with a walk (yes, really) and Davis followed that up with his second home run of the game to make it 4-2. Matt Wieters came up next and hit a long fly ball that seemed to bounce off Ben Revere's glove and over the fence for a home run. It was not the strangest play of the inning. Jonathan Schoop hit a ground rule double after the ball bounced over third base and was picked up by a fan, who spilled his popcorn in the process. That was not the strangest play of the inning either. Parades and Pearce would get on base as well, both loading the bases and driving Drew Hutchinson out of the game with no outs. Manny Machado hit a sac fly to score Paredes and that was the O's final run of the inning to make the game 6-2. It's possible that was the O's best offensive showing in a month, and it was fun to watch. Also, Chris Davis hit his 40th home run of the season which game him the major league lead for now - Nelson Cruz has 39 and is playing later tonight. Chances he bests the 53 he hit in 2013?
The bottom of the inning was not without some action as well. The strangest play of the inning came when Troy Tulowitzki hit a grounder to Schoop, who threw it about five feet over Davis' head. Tulo rounded first to head for second, but when he saw Wieters was there to back Davis up, came back to 1st to greet Wieters who had dived into the base to try and tag him out. But Tulo jumped over the rolling Wieters to land safely at 1st. It was one of those where you just sit there wondering how that could have happened. After a double play though, Jimenez walked his sixth batter of the night and that was enough for Buck to pull him from the game. Mychael Givens came in to get the final out.
The Orioles added on in the eighth inning. Flaherty drew a walk and Machado hit a double with one out, and then Parra drive them in with a double of his own - one of those hits that hugs the first base line that it always seems like other teams get against the O's but they can never manage. Adam Jones decided he wanted some more runs, and promptly hit a home run to deep left center. 10-2 Orioles. Probably not an Orioles fan not enjoying this, but maybe none more than the person who gets $500 with each one of those home runs. That's winning off the field.
The Blue Jays would threaten with some more baserunners in the subsequent innings, but the O's were able to keep them in check and prevent any more runs. It was a good win and their second in a row. Despite all that, these games are basically meaningless for the Orioles. Maybe a strong finish to the season will make this winter a little easier for everyone.