Coming off a surprisingly brilliant start from Ubaldo Jimenez (I mean really, a complete game TWO HITTER, I don’t even care about the three runs at that point) the Orioles turned one of their other failed forays into the free agent starting pitching market, Yovani Gallardo. With Tillman down for at least a while longer and the end of the season coming up at them the Orioles are going to need some pleasant surprises. They would be facing off against Jake Odorizzi.
The fireworks started early on the night. In the bottom of the first inning Gallardo gave up a lead off home run to Logan Forsythe on a 3-1 pitch that Forsythe lined into the right center field seats. 1-0, Rays. Gallardo would get out of the rest of the inning cleanly allowing some Orioles fans to put down their pitch forks and some others to walk away from their ledges.
The rest of the fan base would be calmed in the top of the second inning as Chris Davis launched his signature high fly ball to left center field for a dinger. 1-1, tie game. The Orioles and Rays would flip flop leaving runners on base in the second and third innings as the Odorizzi and Gallardo threw lots of pitches to get a few outs.
The Orioles would bring the bats to the top of the fourth inning. Davis led off the inning with a single to center field. Matt Wieters then worked a one out walk which was followed by a hit by pitch for Jonathan Schoop to load the bases for J.J. Hardy. Hardy again worked a deep count and ended up lacing a 3-2 pitch down the left field line for a two run double. 3-1, Orioles. With two down and two on, Pedro Alvarez worked another count deep and earned himself a walk. That loaded the bases once again and Manny Machado was tired of seeing all those ducks on the pond and unloaded a blast to deep left center field. Grand Slam. 7-1, Orioles.
Gallardo would come back in the bottom of the fourth inning and give Orioles fans another collective panic attack. Brad Miller led off with a hard single which Logan Morrison followed with a hard double into the right field corner.
With runners on second and third and one down Steven Souza Jr. hit a hard grounder to third base. Machado for some reason decided to come home with the ball to cut the runner down with a six run lead even though an easy out was at first base. The ball sailed up the first base line allowing the run to score anyways and allowing the runners to move up to second and third with still only one down. 7-2, Orioles. Gallardo would wriggle out the jam after getting Corey Dickerson to foul out to Wieters and getting Bobby Wilson to ground out to Hardy. Birdland exhales.
The Orioles would chase Odorizzi after their fourth inning barrage. They were able to work the count like crazy on him. After an 8 pitch first inning, he threw 81 pitches in the next three innings. That’s pretty impressive for an Orioles lineup that has shown some predilection for over aggression.
The Rays were also able to chase Gallardo early. He came out of the came after the fifth inning. Finishing with 95 pitches over 5.0 innings, giving up 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned run, 1 walk, and 5 strike outs. A typical five and dive performance save for only two runs given up. I’ll take it, but I won’t be happy about it.
The Orioles would tack on another run in the top of the 7th inning. This time off of Rays reliever Erasmo Ramirez. With two down, Steve Pearce singled to center field and Wieters walked. Then, Schoop hit a slow roller to shortstop which Nick Franklin air mailed into the stands allowing Pearce to score. 8-2, Orioles. Ramirez would get J.J. Hardy to end the inning.
The Orioles added another run in the top of the eighth inning as Adam Jones greeted new Rays reliever Steve Geltz with a massive lead off home run to center field. 9-2, Orioles. That was their third home run of the ballgame. The Orioles would add two more in the top of the ninth inning. A lead off single for Wieters followed by a one out J.J. Hardy walk, followed by a two out Alvarez single which was followed by a Machado single. Two runs scored in the inning. 11-2, Orioles.
The Orioles bullpen would pitch four scoreless innings allowing only four base runners to keep Tampa Bay out of the game as the Orioles offense buried them. The Orioles would win by a final score of 11-2.
An absolutely crazy game in New York ended in a Blue Jays loss which means the Oriloles are now only one game back in AL East.
Also, on a more negative note. Chris Davis was pulled in the fifth inning of the game tonight with an apparent injury. The Orioles luckily have a roster chock full of first baseman to fill his spot if the injury is serious.
Join us here tomorrow at 1:10pm as the Orioles and Dylan Bundy look for the sweep against Drew Smyly and the Rays.