The night began with three teams in the AL East all within one game of each other for first place and it would end that way. Two of those teams would be playing at Camden Yards. The Orioles and Yovani Gallardo faced off against the Red Sox and Eduardo Rodriguez. Yes, that Eduardo Rodriguez, the one that the Orioles traded at the 2014 trade deadline to pickup Andrew Miller for the 2014 playoff run. I wonder how long it will be until that trade is not brought up when Rodriguez pitches. My guess is some fans will have their complaints engraved into their tombstone so everyone for the rest of time can know where they stood.
Anyways, the game started out pretty uneventful. Gallardo had the sink working on all of his pitches as he recorded his first eight outs via the ground ball. He got into some trouble in the fourth inning. With two down Dustin Pedroia hit a squibber that went for an infield single. Then with two strikes Xander Bogaerts slapped a grounder to second base, but Jonathan Schoop went to cover the bag. The perfect hit and run annoyingly executed. David Ortiz would then work a full count walk. However, Mookie Betts would fly out to right field to end the frame. However, keep his name on your mind, he’ll be back.
On the other side Rodriguez cruised through the first four innings only allowing a walk to Chris Davis and striking out seven Orioles hitters. It would make intuitive sense that the Orioles would feast on a left handed pitcher that throws two-thirds fastballs. Yet, they have struggled against southpaws all year long and did so against Rodriguez early on in the game.
Gallardo would again find trouble in the fifth frame. He allowed a lead off double to Andrew Benintendi. Then Pedroia hit a ball up the middle that banged off Gallardo’s arm and ricocheted to J.J. Hardy who got the out at first. Gallardo stayed in the game, but appeared somewhat shaken up. He proceeded to walk Xander Bogaerts, his fifth walk on the night (FIVE WALKS). That brought up Ortiz who magically struck out. With two down, Mookie Betts ambushed the first pitch and hit a liner into the left field stands. 3-0 Red Sox. One of the few balls that the Red Sox actually hit in the air against Gallardo.
Gallardo’s night would be finished there, a prototypical five and dive performance. Final line five innings pitched, four hits. three runs, five walks, and two strike outs.
The game got a little weird after that. After two pitches to Steve Pearce in the bottom of the fifth inning Rodriguez motioned to the dugout and was pulled from the game with tightness in his left hamstring. Matt Barnes came on and walked Steve Pearce which ended up being charged to Rodriguez. Ain’t baseball
weird great. However, the Orioles would do nothing in the fifth as Barnes got two more strike outs. The final line on Rodriguez, 4.0 innings pitched, no hits, no runs, two walks, and seven punch outs.
From there, not much happened again for a while. Vance Worley came on for the Orioles and the Vanimal cruised through the sixth and seventh inning only allowing one base runner via a walk. Barnes also pitched a scoreless sixth inning. The Orioles twittersphere begun to lose it’s mind that the Orioles might be combined no hit on the night. You can’t sweat the no hitter until after the seventh inning, come on everybody calm down.
Speaking of, in the seventh inning, the Orioles finally broke through. Matt Barnes with one down walked Mark Trumbo on four pitches and gave up the first Orioles’ hit of the game to Steve Pearce on an infield hit. That would end the night for Barnes. In came the lefty Fernando Abad to face Davis, but he walked Davis on four straight pitches. Bases loaded, one down for Matt Wieters who delivered a single into left field scoring two. 3-2 Red Sox. That would end the night for Abad who was relieved by Brad Ziegler. After Hardy Struck out, Hyun Soo Kim pinch hit for Nolan Reimold and Kim singled to right field.
Miraculously, Bobby Dickerson held Chris Davis at third base which again left the bases loaded—this time for Adam Jones. Jones would work a five pitch walk to score Davis from third. 3-3 all tied up. Ziegler would then get Schoop to strike out and end the damage.
The Orioles would however give the lead right back. The second half struggles of Brad Brach continue unabated. Brach would get a ground ball into the shift from David Ortiz, but Schoop flubbed it allowing Ortiz to reach base. Then, in came that man again, Mookie Betts ripped an inside pitch for a short home run to left field. FACE PALM. 5-3 Red Sox. Comeback thwarted. Night ruined. I could tell you all of the amazing Mookie Betts at Camden Yards facts, but I’ll save
myself you the agony.
The game quieted down from there. Ziegler would come back out for the bottom of the eighth and he and Robbie Ross escaped a mini jam. Craig Kimbrel came out for the ninth inning and retired the side in order to get the save. Well, that sucked. Maybe figure out how to get Betts out.
Join us here tomorrow at 7:05pm as the short two game set finishes as David Price faces off against Chris Tillman.