The Orioles won tonight 7-5 over the Detroit Tigers despite being down 5-0 after five innings. Mike Pelfrey was good tonight even though he'd been bad all season and the game look lost from the beginning. But, that old friend of ours the Tiger Bullpen showed up and bailed out the Orioles giving up five runs all on their own. Obviously, the game did not start out as great.
Ubaldo Jimenez has been a perplexing pitcher for the Orioles. His ability to get hitters out waxing and waning from game to game, inning to inning, or even pitch to pitch. He's the kind of pitcher that makes me pull my hair out, rub my temples, and bite my nails. Piles and piles of three ball counts leading to the classic five and dive pitching performance. Yet, sometimes, he can be great. Which make the poor outings all the more frustrating.
Ubaldo started off early on with struggles and it was clear that Bad Ubaldo would be visiting Birdland tonight. In the first inning, after retiring the lead off hitter, Jimenez walked J.D. Martinez on four pitches and walked Miguel Cabrera on a 3-2 count. That acute pain right between my eyes is growing. Next batter, the scalding hot Victor Martinez slapped a single into shallow left field scoring the other Martinez from second. 1-0 Tigers. Ubaldo escaped further damage with two ground outs.
Jimenez slithered out of some other jams in the second and third inning after giving up a total of four hits and one walk. He would not be so fortunate in the fourth. Jarrod Saltalamacchia led off the inning with a long home run on what may have been the most grooved pitch of all time on to the flag court. 2-0 Tigers. With one down, Ian Kinsler singled and J.D. Martinez followed that quickly with a double. Cabrera then grounded out to score the runner from 3rd, 3-0 Tigers. Jimenez would again escape his own jam after walking Victor Martinez with two down by getting Nick Castellanos to pop out.
After getting through the fifth 1-2-3, either Buck begged Jimenez to get him six innings or Jimenez convinced Buck to give him another chance because he came back out for the 6th inning after already throwing 100 pitches The 6th started with an error on Manny Machado who took some time to collect himself and air mailed a rushed throw to Davis on a Jose Iglesias ground ball. Kinsler then singled to the left center field gap and that put people watching this game out of their misery. Vance Worley came in to put out the fire and was unsuccessful in doing so allowing both inherited runners to score on back to back singles. 5-0 Tigers. The inning fatefully over Ubaldo Jimnez finally had his final line of 5.0+ innings, 9 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned, 4 walks, and two strikeouts on 105 pitches. Ubaldo faced 28 batters and 14 reached. Hey...that's bad.
You may have noticed at this point that the Orioles offense has not been mentioned in this recap. Coming into the game, Tigers starter Mike Pelffrey had an ERA above six and had struck out as many batters as he had walked. He cruised through the first five innings striking out four hitters and walking only one. He kept the ball on the ground and the Orioles off the base paths. The sixth inning however would give him some trouble. A lead off single by Manny Machado into right field and a one out double to the left center field gap by Chris Davis gave the Orioles their first run of the night. 5-1 Tigers.
Pelfrey would then walk Mark Trumbo and that would be his night. In came left reliever Kyle Ryan to face Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez lined a ball to deep center field right at Justin Upton who turned around three or four times before making the catch. Then came in Drew VerHagen to face Jonathan Schoop who would single up the middle to score Chris Davis who moved to third on Alvarez's liner. 5-2 Tigers. Ryan Flaherty grounded out weakly to first base to end the rally. Final line on Pelfrey 5.1 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, and 5 strike outs.
Worley got through the top of seventh inning unscathed and the Orioles offense had the meat of the Tigers bullpen to chew through. In came Alex Wilson who got Caleb Joseph to fly out for the first out of the inning turning the lineup over. Joey Rickard would then single up the middle which Machado followed with a single to right which Adam Jones followed with a single to center field scoring Rickard from second. 5-3 Tigers.
Next Tigers reliever led to slaughter was left handed pitcher Justin Wilson. Davis singled, scoring Machado, 5-4 Tigers and after a Mark Trumbo fly out Alvarez singled to right field scoring Jones from third. 5-5 game tied. So the two lefties got the big hit off of the lefty. Go figure. With two down and two on Schoop laced a liner down the right field line with J.D. Martinez playing way off the line it allowed both runners to score and Schoop to get to third for his first career triple as the ball rattled around in the corner. 7-5 Orioles.
The eighth and ninth innings were nice and easy as O'Day and Britton slammed the door shut. Vance Worley gets the win (2-0), Justin Wilson took the loss (0-1), and Zach Britton notched his ninth save. Final score, 7-5 Orioles. Join us tomorrow at 7:05pm for Chris Tillman against Justin Verlander.
The most Birdland Player of the game poll is below. I have a feeling who'll win, but vote your heart.