The best of teams have a hard time sweeping a four-game series. The worst of teams have a hard time losing 11 games in a row. And yet that is what happened this afternoon as the Orioles demolished the Rays by a 12-5 score. The win gave the O’s the four-game sweep while the Rays are the ones with the 11-game losing streak.
Tyler Wilson didn’t pitch well at all, but as is often the way with this team, the offense more than made up the difference. A four-hit game from Adam Jones and three home runs from the powerful lineup powered the team to their fifth straight win.
Dongs are Grand
The Orioles mashed three dingers in today’s win, starting with the greatest home run that exists: the grand slam. Rays’ starter Drew Smyly had a very tough first inning, which was evident immediately given that he walked leadoff batter Adam Jones.
Singles from Joey Rickard and Manny Machado loaded the bases with no outs for the big fella, Chris Davis. After getting Davis to swing poorly at a few breaking pitches, Smyly for some reason switched up the pitch selection. His 91 mph fastball went down the heart of the plate in the perfect location for Davis to go oppo for the grand slam.
The home run was Davis’s 18th of the season and the seventh grand slam of his career.
As is usually the case, the Orioles didn’t stop at one home run. In the fourth inning Jonathan Schoop saw one pitch out over the plate and hit a classic Schoop homer. It was pulled and it landed deep into the left field seats. It was a solo shot, the 13th of the year for the O’s second baseman.
Not to be left out was man with the most dingers in baseball: Mark Trumbo. Trumbo stepped to the plate with Manny Machado on base and also hit one out to left field. Trumbo is known for hitting long home runs but this one just sneaked over the wall. They all look the same in the box score!
Trumbo’s 22nd home run of the year puts him alone in the lead for home runs; he started the day tied at 21 with Nolan Arenda, Adam Duvall, and Todd Frazier.
All three dongs were given up by Smyly as the Orioles lit him up for eight runs in just five innings.
Reminder: Adam Jones is Awesome
Adam Jones has been on a tear lately, including another home run and possible game-saving catch in yesterday’s nightcap. He kept it up today with four hits and a walk from the leadoff spot in the order.
The first-inning walk was Adam’s 20th of the season and while he’s still not a guy who walks a lot, keep in mind that his walk totals in 2013-2015 were 25, 19, and 24. So he’s on pace to break that, to say the least.
In the second inning, Jones . With Nolan Reimold on third base Jones caught the Rays’ infield off guard with a great bunt down the first base side. Reimold came in to score and Jones beat the throw to first for an infield single.
For good measure, and to remind you that he’s not just a small-ball leadoff batter, he also doubled in the game.
Adam Jones, y’all. He was slumping early in the season but has more than cleaned his ish up.
Tyler Wilson: The Less Said the Better
Through the first four innings of this game Tyler Wilson gave up two runs which is neither terrible or great. But he was fortunate to get out of those innings as he did, as he allowed eight batters to reach base. Twice he gave up solo home runs and twice he bailed himself out with double play balls.
To that point Wilson was holding his own, especially given the large lead handed to him by his offense. But it all fell apart in the fifth inning. He actually got two outs with just a runner on first but he couldn’t close things out. He gave up doubles to Logan Morrison and Oswaldo Arcia that were sandwiched around a walk to Desmond Jennings, and when he finally got the third out he had given up three more runs and the O’s lead was cut to just one for the time being.
Dylan Bundy Does Work
It had been awhile since we saw Dylan Bundy, but in his recent appearances he had been looking better and better and has been pitching in longer stretches. He came on to relieve Wilson and pitched three solid innings.
The diciest inning was his first, when he hit a batter and allowed a single to Brad Miller. But he followed that up with a 1-2-3 seventh inning and struck out the first two in the eighth before giving up another single. He easily retired Logan Forsythe to end the inning and his day.
Bundy is turning into a valuable member of the bullpen, especially with a starting rotation that sometimes only has five innings in them on a given day.
Help From an Old Friend
With the score 8-5 in the eighth inning, the Rays turned to former Oriole Ryan Webb to get three outs. And well, he did get three outs. But it took him awhile.
The first two outs came quickly as Webb retired Reimold and Francisco Pena and just needed to get Jones out to end the inning. As has previously been discussed at length, Adam Jones is awesome. He singled to right field (going opposite field with the pitch, what a champ) and that opened the flood gates.
Joey Rickard hit a long double to left-center field that Jones scored on, then Rickard scored himself on a single by Machado. Two batters later Machado came in to score on a single by Trumbo, then with Schoop at bat Davis scored on a wild pitch.
With that the score was 12-5 and poor Ryan Webb looked totally miserable. Schoop struck out to put him out of his misery, then Odrisamer Despaigne came in for a quick 1-2-3 ninth to secure the win.
The Orioles easily completed the four-game sweep against the Rays and went 5-1 on the homestand. They continue to hold their multi-game lead in the division and are now 15 games over .500.
Tomorrow is an off day followed by a nine-game west coast trip to San Diego, Seattle, and Los Angeles. So rest up and we’ll see you at 10 p.m. on Tuesday.