Tillman recovers from poor start
It looked as though it would be a tough game for O's right-hander Chris Tillman as he allowed three runs in the first inning, but the A's hardly hit the ball hard.
Billy Burns led off with an infield single. Mark Canha followed with a hit by pitch. A Josh Reddick single to left field scored Burns to make it 1-0. Two batters later, a two-out single from former Oriole Danny Valencia drove in Canha to double the lead. And a Yonder Alonso doubled to left field make it 3-0, but it could have been worse. A nice relay from Joey Rickard to Manny Machado to Matt Wieters caught Valencia at the plate to stop the bleeding.
After that rough first inning, Tillman sailed through the remainder of his outing. He was able to pitch into the seventh inning before being replaced by Brad Brach. The reliever cleaned up that inning and gave Tilly his fourth quality start of the season. His line: 6.1 innings, six hits, three runs, four walks and seven strikeouts. His ERA did jump up from 2.81 to 3.05. A coveted quality start.
How about the Orioles starting pitchers lately? Pretty darn great! Apart from Mike Wright's poor showing on Friday, this last time through the rotation was impressive. Tyler Wilson got a tough loss against the Yankees despite allowing two earned runs over six innings. Kevin Gausman was tremendous against the Bombers, throwing eight scoreless. Even Ubaldo Jimenez did a nice job yesterday. Maybe these guys aren't too bad.
Dongs for everyone!
The Orioles 11 runs all came off of the long ball. There were six home runs in total from five different hitters. That will work as a last second Mother's Day gift. As long as you also got a card. There HAS to be a card!
Manny Machado got things started in the bottom of the first with his eighth dong of the season. With Joey Rickard on ahead of him, Machado sent a deep shot to right center field, cutting it down to a 3-2 game.
Pedro Alvarez tied it up in the second inning with his second dong, and he crushed this one out on Eutaw Street. And Jonathan Schoop made it back-to-back with his fifth shot of the year to give the Birds the lead. From there, they never looked back.
Following a Chris Davis hit by pitch, Mark Trumbo got in on the fun with a two-run shot in the bottom of the third inning to make it 6-3 in favor of the good guys.
Not to be outdone, Rickard even got a home run of his own. I think it cleared the fence by about six inches, but it all counts just the same. It was only a solo shot and it was his third of the summer. 7-3 O's!
But on this day, it was all about Manny. Just as he started the scoring, he also finished it in the eighth inning. A pair of singles from Schoop and Rickard plus a Flaherty walk loaded the bases for the O's shortstop. Minutes later, Machado crushed a 92 mph 3-2 pitched into the bullpen area for his second grand slam of the season, second home run of the day and ninth long ball of the season. 11-3. Ballgame.
Some of the big names did very little for the O's. Davis, Adam Jones and Matt Wieters combined to go 1-for-11 with one walk and five strikeouts. Crush did score a run, but in year's past you would never expect 11 runs from this side when that trio struggles so mightily. Times they are a-changin'!
Bullpen closes it down
Brach tossed 1.2 scoreless innings, finishing up the seventh for Tillman and taking care of the eighth all on his own. The Machado home run late in the game allowed manager Buck Showalter to turn to a less essential arm for the last three outs of the game. So, it was Vance Worley given the responsibility today. An error by Schoop allowed one runner, but other than that, the right hander shut it down.
This was a day for offense, and it was a pretty unremarkable game in the field. But Rickard did make one heck of a catch in left field. Look for it on the highlight reel tonight.
The Orioles are now headed to Minneapolis to face off with the Twins for three games at Target Field. Wilson heads back to the hill for the Birds. He will be opposed by 21-year-old right-hander Jose Berrios (1-1, 6.75 ERA). First pitch is set for 8:10 p.m. on MASN 2.