In what was a pretty terrible game to watch, the Orioles used a nice start from Yovani Gallardo and a shut-down performance from the bullpen to beat the Rockies 3-2 in extremely lame walk-off fashion at Camden Yards on Monday to extend their current winning streak to five games.
Of course he pitched well
Rockies starter, and longtime Orioles trade target, Jorge De La Rosa entered Monday’s game with a 6.07 ERA, 5.22 FIP and -0.3 WAR. The 35-year-old is not a good pitcher. But the Orioles random spurts of offensive ineptitude do not discriminate, so of course De La Rosa shut them down for most of the night
They had him on the ropes early on. In the first inning, the Birds loaded the bases with one out thanks to a Jonathan Schoop double, a Nolan Arenado error and a Mark Trumbo walk. But then it was the ice cold Chris Davis who struck out followed by a Matt Wieters ground out. Like that, the threat was over and no runs where scored.
In the second inning, the O’s broke through the deadlock, but could have gotten more. J.J. Hardy led off with a walk. A batter later, Dariel Alvarez reached when Arenado airmailed a throw to first base, allowing the runners to move up to second and third. And then Adam Jones put the good guys on the board 1-0 with a single to right field, which drove in Hardy from third. But that was all they would get as Schoop hit into a double play to end the inning.
From there, the Baltimore bats would stay annoyingly quiet until the seventh inning.
You go, Yo!
Yovani Gallardo took the hill for the Orioles and did pretty darn well against a Colorado offense that has scored the second most runs in all of baseball. Through the first three innings he allowed only two runners on a single and hit by pitch, but did not give up a run.
The fourth inning saw the Rockies tie things up at 1-1 when Arenado atoned for his two errors with a solo home run to left field, but then Gallardo struck out the side.
Double plays in the fifth and sixth inning kept Gallardo out of trouble. It seemed his luck would continue in the seventh inning. Following a walk to Carlos Gonzalez to lead off the frame, he got Trevor Story to fly out and then picked off Gonzalez at first base to clear the bases with two outs. But that is where his fortunate evening ended.
David Dahl, making his major league debut, singled up the middle to nab his first career hit in "the show". Then he moved to second on a wild pitch, but it was some pretty lazy catching on the part of Wieters, if we’re honest. Not that I am blaming the catcher. We don’t do that around here. Ex-Oriole Mark Reynolds made it hurt when he singled up the middle to drive in Dahl and give the visitors a 2-1 lead. Gallardo exited the game there in favor of Mychal Givens, who would get Daniel Descalso to fly out to finish the seventh.
It’s tough to be too disappointed with Gallardo’s performance. He went 6.2 innings and allowed two runs on five hits, two walks and six strikeouts. If he could do that every time out, the Orioles will win a lot of games with him on the bump. Unfortunately, the bats were pretty quiet while he was on the mound, but they did enough to ensure he was not saddled with a bad luck loss.
Off the hook
De La Rosa finally pitched like his ERA said he should in the bottom of the seventh inning. He bounced a cutter off of Nolan Reimold’s foot and then gave up a double to Dariel Alvarez to give the O’s men on second and third with just one out. That was the end of the southpaw’s night as he was replaced by Adam Ottavino, who would limit the damage. Jones grounded out to shortstop, scoring Reimold and tying things up at two runs apiece. But that was the end of the scoring in "regulation" if you will.
Yeah, the two teams played the eighth and ninth innings technically, but nothing really happened. As far as the Orioles go, Givens pitched a perfect eighth and Zach Britton looked nasty in the ninth. But, you know, like the good kind of nasty. Anyway...
Worst. Walkoff. Ever.
Chaz Roe came in to toss the 10th inning and looked OK, I guess. He made it through it. With two outs, Descalso singled and then moved to second base on a passed ball. Again, Wieters could have done a better job moving his feet back there, but the guy is just returning from a foot injury, so we won’t bash him too bad. But Roe got out of the inning with a little help from the home plate umpire, who called strike three on Nick Hundley on a pitch that was a couple inches off the outside of the plate. Thanks, man!
In the bottom of the inning, it was Jones again causing issues again with a one-out single. Schoop moved Jones all the way to third with a single of his own into right field. And then Manny Machado doubled off the scoreboard to win the game!!! WOO!......Oh no, wait, that is not what happened at all. That would have been actually cool.
What actually occurred: Machado hit a squibber back to the pitcher (Jordan Lyles), who dropped the ball. It looked as if the righty kind of wanted to turn a double play and he kind of wanted to nab Jones at home. After recovering, he still had time to get the ball home, but he threw it slightly low, forcing Hundley to bend down. The catcher got his mitt to it, but then he dropped the ball too. Thanks, timely rain! Jones slid in, scoring the winning run and giving the O’s their fifth consecutive victory. Whatever, a win is a win!
The cherry on top? The Red Sox lost a few minutes after the O’s game concluded, so the Birds now lead the AL East by 2.5 games.
Can they make it six in a row? They sure have a good chance with Chris Tillman (14-2, 3.18 ERA) starting. Colorado will send righty Chad Bettis (8-6, 5.31) to the bump. See you at the Yard.