The Orioles and Twins met tonight for the last time in this 2016 season and the Orioles came into the game looking for a season sweep of the Twins. The Orioles would face off against Kyle Gibson and they would counter with a “well rested” Ubaldo Jimenez. This would not go to well for the Orioles, but not in the way that you would have thought.
The game started off with some fireworks as Adam Jones hammered the first pitch of the game to left field to give the Orioles the early lead, 1-0 Orioles. However, the Twins would get that run right back in the bottom of the first inning. A one out single into center field on a 3-2 count put Robbie Grossman on base. Joe Mauer would then smack a triple down the right field line, 1-1 tie game. Jimenez would eventually get out of the first inning with a pop out and strikeout with a four pitch walk sandwiched in the middle. It took 33 pitches for all that to go down.
The Orioles and Twins would swap scoring chances from there. In the second the Orioles had runners on the corner with two down, but Caleb Joseph could not get that elusive first 2016 RBI. The Twins squandered scoring chances in the second and third innings. Ubaldo wriggled out of jams with a double play and a couple of strikeouts.
The bottom of the fourth would finally bring some more scoring, albeit of the pulling teeth variety. Chris Davis led off the innings with a single into center field which Mark Trumbo followed with the loudest double I’ve ever heard to the left center field wall. The Orioles had runners on second and third with none down, it’s run scoring time...right?
Well, Jonathan Schoop proceeded to hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Eduardo Escobar and with Davis running on contact Escobar made a perfect throw home to cut down Davis. Damn. Well, still have runners on first and second with one down this month long offensive funk has to end soon...right? WRONG. Pedro Alvarez singled to right field and right fielder Max Kepler got to it quickly, but for some reason Trumbo was rounding third and was out by a mile at the plate. Watch this clip for my thoughts.
That’s two outs made at home plate in the same inning. J.J. Hardy would eventually save the Orioles from themselves as he laced a single into left field which scored Schoop from third base, 2-1 Orioles.
The fifth inning was relatively uneventful even as Ubaldo attempted to give the game away. The fifth would also be his last inning. He went five innings, gave up five hits, giving up one run while striking out eight and walking three. Jimenez threw 102 pitches in just five innings of work. I’ll always remember Ubaldo for his five and dive performances.
Ordisramer Despaigne would come on to relieve Ubaldo and since being bad is in his nature, he did bad stuff. Max Kepler smashed a bomb to deep right center field for a lead off home run, 2-2 tie game. With one down, Escobar and Centeno hit back to back singles to put runners on the corners with one down and Byron Buxton at the plate. Buxton hit a hard grounder to Hardy, which with Buxton’s speed would normally have resulted in a run. However, the infield was a step in and Hardy was able to scoop the grounder, step on second, and throw Buxton out easily. Crisis averted for the time being.
Despaigne would come back in for the bottom of the seventh as Showalter attempted to save himself from using the entirety of the back end of the bullpen on this would be off day. With one down, Grossman lined an opposite field double which was followed by an intentional walk to Joe Mauer to setup the double play. However, Despaigne started out 3-0 to Brian Dozier and with the count 3-1 Dozier laced a single into left field. The Twins were aggressive on the base paths as well and Grossman scored just in front of Joseph’s swipe tag. 3-2 Twins. That would end Despaigne’s night.
Chaz Roe would come on to keep the flames burning. He quickly gave up a single to Max Kepler on a 2-0 count which scored Mauer from second base. 4-2 Twins. Next up was Eddie Rosario who laced an 0-2 triple to dead center field over the head of a tired Adam Jones scoring both runners, 6-2 Twins.
That would be the final score as the Orioles and Twins pretty much backed there bags in from there. Join us here tomorrow at 7:05pm as Kevin Gausman faces off against Marco Estrada and the Blue Jays to begin an important three game set.