What’s better than beating the Yankees? It’s hard to say, but the Orioles did just that tonight to win the series. A series win against the first place team is pretty nice, especially when it is the 12th straight home series against the Yankees that the Orioles have won.
Adam Jones was back tonight and it paid dividends immediately. He knocked in five of the 10 Orioles runs which was more than enough to get the win despite another flawed outing from Kevin Gausman.
Welcome Back, Adam Jones
Most days that the Orioles score 10 runs is a good day, and today was no exception. Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka hasn’t been the pitcher we’ve come to expect from the last few seasons, and tonight was another rough game for him.
The fun got started in the third inning, when J.J. Hardy and Seth Smith singled to set the table for Adam Jones. It was Adam’s first game back after resting his sore hip and ankle, and man was it good to see him. He ripped a double to center field that scored Hardy, with Smith stopping at third.
That would have been a great time for Manny Machado to break out of his slump. Two runners on, a pitcher having trouble, etc. Sadly it wasn’t meant to be. Machado continued looking lousy throughout this entire game, and he struck out in this at bat.
Mark Trumbo, thankfully, picked up the slack. He doubled on a line drive to right field that Aaron Judge misplayed badly. Thanks, big guy!
That double, which had a 99% catch probability according to Stat Cast, knocked in two runs and then Trumbo scored on a single from Chris Davis. Just like that the score was 4-0, a lead that the Orioles did not give up.
A two-out rally was just what the doctor ordered in the fourth inning. Tanaka retired Jonathan Schoop and Caleb Joseph to get two quick outs, but then got himself into trouble. A double from Hardy (a real one, unlike Trumbo’s) and a walk by Smith again brought Jones to the plate. Not satisfied with the double that he hit last time, Jones hit a long fly ball to center field that landed on the other side of the fence. It was Jones’ ninth home run on the season and gave the Orioles a 7-1 lead.
Fast forward to the seventh inning when Chris Davis remembered that he too can hit dingers. With Trumbo on base Davis hit a nice easy home run to right field, his 11th of the season. It was part of a two-hit game for Davis in which he didn’t strike out a single time! Very impressive.
The Orioles added on one final run in the eighth inning thanks to, you guessed it, Adam Jones. A grounder to shortstop that Ronald Torreyes couldn’t corral led to his third hit and fifth RBI of the night. Do you think he missed playing baseball? What a night for Adam Jones. Sadly the same can’t be said for Kevin Gausman...
The Goose is Cooked
The thing that kept us from enjoying the nine-run outburst to the fullest was, of course, another disappointing game from starting pitcher Kevin Gausman. Gausman was coming off of a strong start against the Houston Astros and I think we were all hoping he could build on it. Sadly, he could not.
Things were dicey from the get go with Gausman. In the first inning a double play ball by the second batter of the game erased runner Brett Gardner, but instead of getting the third out quickly Gausman gave up another hit and two walks to load the bases. It was hard not to expect the worst, but Gausman retired Chase Headley to end the inning.
After that, it looked like maybe Gausman got on track. He pitched consecutive 1-2-3 innings in the second and third before going off the rails again. After his offense had given him a four-run lead in the bottom of the third, Gausman had some troubles though he did hold the lead.
In fairness, Gausman did get let down by his defense in the inning. After a one-out single and walk put two runners on, Ronald Torreyes hit what looked like a double play ball. But Jonathan Schoop made a bad throw that Chris Davis couldn’t handle. Instead of an inning-ending double play, the Yankees scored their first run and ended up with a runner on second with two outs. Gausman got the final out to limit the damage.
It was just an appetizer, though, that fourth inning. In the fifth Gausman gave up two more runs but it felt like he was on the verge of giving up more. With a runner on first and one out, Aaron Hicks doubled in one run and Matt Holliday followed with an RBI single. Those were the only two runs that the Yankees scored in the inning, but Gausman made it interesting by allowing another single and a walk to load the bases before he got out of it.
It felt like Gausman was lucky to get out of it, but Buck Showalter sent him back out for the sixth inning to try and get some more out of him. The Orioles had a four-run lead at the time so I thought that was a fine decision, but Gausman had nothing left in the tank. He struck out the first batter, but another hit and another walk put two runners on and ended Gausman’s night.
So, another disappointing game from Gausman. It wasn’t the worst that we’ve seen from him this year, but three runs in 5 1⁄3 innings doesn’t really cut it, especially when he was lucky it was that few. He allowed 13 base runners including five walks, which is pretty awful.
Mychal Givens replaced Gausman and got out of the inning without any inherited runners score. Gausman’s final line was 5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K.
Closing it Out
With Gausman out of the game and a chance to get the win, Showalter went with his big guns. After getting the final two outs of the sixth inning Givens stayed in for the seventh and had a nice easy inning. He ultimately pitched 1 2⁄3 perfect innings.
Darren O’Day came in to pitch the eighth inning and gave up one cheap infield hit and one solid single from Austin Romine. He followed that with two straight ground outs that resulted in a run, and a strikeout to end the inning. Not a perfect night but he still looked pretty good overall.
Interim closer Brad Brach was warming up in this game, but when the lead grew to six runs the ninth inning went to the recently promoted Mike Wright. Wright looked good, giving up a double to Judge but nothing else.
Orioles win, 10-4! Tomorrow the Red Sox come to town for a four-game weekend series.
Who was the Most Birdland Player for Wednesday, May 31st?
This poll is closed
Adam Jones (3-for-5, HR, 5 RBI, 1500th hit as an Oriole)
Chris Davis (Home run, NO STRIKEOUTS)
Seth Smith (3-for-4, BB)