The Orioles going into tonight were looking for that ever vaunted "winning streak." As the impeding doom of Chris Tillman’s trip to the disabled list dropped today Orioles fans had to put their faith in Wade Miley tonight. Miley, as you probably know, has struggled since being acquired in July. As an Oriole he had given up more hits and more runs than innings pitched coming into the night. That’s bad. Well, the Orioles are going to need some surprises down the stretch and they pretty much need Miley to be one of those surprises.
The Orioles faced off against Tanner Roark and the "rival" Washington Nationals. The scoring got started early. First batter of the game Adam Jones smashed a ball to the right center field gap that Trea Turner made a spectacular running/diving catch to rob Jones of extra bases. The next batter, Hyun Soo Kim, lined a single down the left field line. That brought Manny Machado to the plate and he walloped a 452 home run into the left center field stands. 2-0, Orioles.
Chris Davis then doubled to left center field which was followed by a Mark Trumbo walk. Then a weird sequence of back to back hit by pitches for Jonathan Schoop and Matt Wieters scored another run and left the bases loaded for J.J. Hardy. 3-0, Orioles. With still only one out recorded Hardy got a sacrifice fly to center field scoring Trumbo from third. 4-0, Orioles.
With runners on second and third and now two down the Orioles still had a chance to score runs...sort of. The senior circuit brand of baseball calls for pitchers to hit, which is trash. Miley, batting before he even threw a pitch, grounded out ending the rally. A good start for the Orioles offense off a good pitcher in Roark.
The bottom of the first inning began with horror visions of Miley’s last start against the Astros. Trea Turner led off with a single, something he would continue to do in this game, then Jayson Werth was hit by a pitch bringing up one of the NL’s best hitters, Daniel Murphy. Miley had appeared to have minimized the damage with a Murphy ground out to first base. But, as Davis threw to second to get the out Miley did not cover the bag so the double play could not be completed.
Miley was able to strike out Bryce Harper, so with two down and runners on the corners Anthony Rendon doubled down the left field line scoring one run. 4-1, Orioles. However, Murphy was inexplicably sent home on the play and was out by 30 feet. Thanks for the extra outs. Miley wriggled out of something that could have gone much worse.
The Orioles would lead off the second with more hard hit balls against Roark. Jones singled on a hard hit ball to third base which Rendon bobbled then airmailed to first base allowing Jones to advance to second base. With one down, Machado singled to center field allowing Jones to score. 5-1, Orioles. With two down, Trumbo was hit by a pitch. But, Jonathan Schoop struck out.
Not much happened from there until the fifth inning. Miley mostly kept the Nats quiet and Roark stranded one runner in the third inning, one in the fourth inning, and two in fifth inning. Koda Glover came on in the sixth inning and he stranded two more Orioles runners. Miley would give up one more run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a Danny Espinosa line drive solo home run to left field. 5-2, Orioles.
Miley would come back out for the sixth with two left handed hitters due up. Murphy singled and Harper hit a grounder that Davis booted allowing Murphy to advance to third base. Then on Schoop’s ill advised throw to third base Harper took second. Runners on second and third and none down and the tying run at the plate. In came Mychal Givens to put out the fire. Givens struck out Rendon, popped up Wilson Ramos, and struck out Ryan Zimmerman. He did all that on eleven (11!!!) pitches. No runs scored. Exhale.
Givens would come back out for the seventh inning and it did not go as well. With one down Ben Revere doubled to left center field which brought up apparent baseballing God Trea Turner who singled...AGAIN. Runners on the corners with one down. Givens got Jayson Werth to pop out. With two down, Buck Showalter called on rookie lefty Donnie Hart to get the two big lefites, Murphy and Harper. Murphy would flare a single into shallow right to score one run. 5-3, Orioles. Harper and Hart battled, but Hart got him to strike out on a 3-2 pitch to minimize the damage and escape the inning with the lead. Exhale again.
The Orioles offense would alleviate our collective anxiety in the top of the eighth inning adding on five runs against Blake Treinen on a Kim double, Machado RBI single, Trumbo Walk, Schoop RBI single, and Matt Wieters three run home run. 10-3, Orioles.
In an effort to make the game interesting and give Baltimore heart palpitations, the Nationals mounted a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning. Back to back singles and a one out walk loaded the bases for Murphy who smashed a grand slam. 10-7, Orioles. I hope Parker Bridwell likes Bowie/Norfolk.
Zach Britton came on with one down and ended his scoreless appearance streak by giving up a single to Harper and a long RBI double to Rendon. 10-8, Orioles. Wilson Ramos would then ground a ball back to Britton who for some reason tried for the out at second and missed. So, now Zimmerman is up as the winning run at the plate. What just happened? I can’t breathe again. Anyways, Zimmerman hit a sharp grounder to Schoop who flipped to Hardy who threw to Davis for the 4-6-3 double play. Game over. Exhale
Join us tomorrow as the Orioles go for the season sweep of the Nats at 7:05pm as Ubaldo Jimenez (yay) faces off against Max Scherzer.