The Orioles bats bounced back in a big way tonight after scoring just one run in the first game of the series. They scored nine runs in the first three innings, a number that proved to be enough despite some scary times in the middle of the game. Putting a damper on the offensive outburst was the start by Ubaldo Jimenez, in which he could not complete five innings for the second time this season.
Dong, Party of Five
Red Sox starter Steven Wright did not have his best night. After falling behind 2-0 on RBI hits from Manny Machado and Mark Trumbo, Wright went into full batting practice mode. With two runners on Trey Mancini hit the first dinger of the night, a three-run home run to center field. Before we could finish celebrating that home run, Jonathan Schoop took the very next pitch over the Green Monster to give the Orioles a 6-0 lead.
The Orioles batted around in the first making Adam Jones the first batter in the second inning. After striking out against Wright in the first inning, Jones got his revenge by hitting a ball out of the park in left field. Two batters later Chris Davis got in on the action, hitting a no doubt home run to right field.
In the top of the third inning Mancini started the inning with a full count line drive that just got over the wall inside the foul pole in left field. Two home runs in one night are fun! That marked the fifth home run of the night for the Orioles and gave the team a 9-0 lead.
Wow, with a nine-run lead it seems like a good night to rest the bullpen, don’t you think? Well, about that...
Ubaldo Jimenez actually started off this game looking pretty good. He pitched two scoreless innings, facing just seven batters. But before you could start feeling any sense of ease, Jimenez started to unravel. He gave up just one run in the third inning, but it took him 27 pitches to do so. A double and an infield single put runners on first and third to set up a sacrifice fly to by Andrew Benintendi to make the score 9-1.
Jimenez still could have salvaged things, but he just went from bad to worse in the fourth and fifth innings. Xander Bogaerts singled in the Red Sox second run then Jimenez gave up a two-run homer to the very next batter, Pablo Sandoval. That cut the score to 9-4 and sent the confidence of Orioles fans plummeting.
It doesn’t seem like too much to ask for a starting pitcher in the majors to go at least five innings in a game where he is spotted nine runs, but apparently it was too much to ask of Jimenez. He went full Ubaldo in the fifth inning, walking the leadoff batter and then, with one out and two runners on, walking the final batter he faced on four straight pitches.
That was it for Ubaldo, who completely failed to live up to even the most modest of expectations in this game. The bullpen has been over worked in this early season, the wins have been close, and this could have been a great night to give them a rest. But nope. It was too much to ask.
With a five-run lead but the bases loaded with just one out, Buck Showalter turned to Mychal Givens to keep things from getting out of control. Givens did a great job with that. He gave up a single to the first batter he faced that allowed one run to score, but it was a ball that an experienced left fielder would have caught. The Orioles don’t have one of those, they have Trey Mancini.
Givens retired the next two batters to get out of the jam, then pitched the sixth inning and got the first out of the seventh before he was pulled. Really a nice showing by Givens.
Late Inning Insurance Runs
You shouldn’t need insurance runs in a four-run game, nor should you need them in a game when your team scores nine runs, but the runs that the Orioles tacked on in the seventh inning made this Orioles fan breathe a sigh of relief.
The Red Sox turned to Joe Kelly to try and keep the score where it was. Joe Kelly failed, as he often does. With an inherited runner on first, Kelly gave up back-to-back hits to Trumbo and Welington Castillo. Castillo’s double knocked in two runs and he was able to get to third on an error by Dustin Pedroia. He came in to score on a single by Schoop. That increased the O’s lead to seven runs, at 12-5.
Wrapping it up
With a comfortable lead in hand, Showalter turned to Donnie Hart and and Vidal Nuno to finish things out. Hart pitched 1 2⁄3 innings in relief of Givens and Nuno came on to pitch the ninth. Neither was perfect but neither allowed any runs, which is what I like to see.
Having split the series the Orioles continue on their road trip to their next stop in Toronto. Tomorrow they kick off a four-game series with Kevin Gausman facing off against Francisco Liriano.
Who is the Most Birdland Player for Wednesday, April 12th?
This poll is closed
Trey Mancini (2 HR, BB)
Chris Davis (3-for-4, HR, 2B)
Welington Castillo (3-for-5, 2 RBI)
Mychal Givens (cleaned up Ubaldo’s mess, 2 IP)