For the second consecutive night, the Orioles walked off against the Pirates at Camden Yards. Tonight, the hero was rookie Trey Mancini who first tied things with a dong in the ninth inning and then earned the 9-6 win with another round tripper in the 11th inning.
We will get to the good stuff in a minute, but what may end up having the biggest impact long term is the injury to Manny Machado in the second inning. With Andrew McCutchen trying to steal third base, Machado caught the throw from Caleb Joseph and went to apply the tag. McCutchen’s raised cleat went right into the third baseman’s left wrist, dislodging the ball and leading Machado to wince in pain. Manny stayed in the game at the time, but was replaced by new Oriole Ruben Tejada prior to the fourth inning.
After the game, manager Buck Showalter said that X-rays were negative and they are looking to get an MRI tonight or tomorrow. Either way, it doesn’t sound like Machado will be in the lineup tomorrow, but a roster move or DL stint does not seem imminent.
Because these are the Orioles and this was Machado, this play is immediately going to be compared to the slide by Manny on Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia from earlier this season. If people think there was intent there, then they will be screaming about the McCutchen slide.
To me, I think both were accidental. It was a bad slide by McCutchen. He needs to do better. But it’s tough to see any intent there. The Orioles never “retaliated” and Showalter said in his post game press conference that, while he wasn’t happy with the slide, things happen in sports. It doesn’t seem like the O’s are overly worked up about it. But these two teams meet again on September 26th and 27th. I wouldn’t expect fireworks, but stranger things have happened.
It seems like a distant memory, but Wade Miley actually started tonight’s game for the O’s. Of course, he only lasted 2.2 innings and was bailed out by his team’s late offensive theatrics.
The southpaw was not totally atrocious. His fastball had some good velocity and he notched four strikeouts in the brief outing. But some bad luck paired with iffy command led to an early shower for the hurler.
Pittsburgh’s first runs came in the second inning. Singles from McCutchen and Elias Diaz gave the Pirates runners on first and second with one out. Then, they both stole a base, which is when Machado was hurt. A Max Moroff double then drove in both runners.
The visitors doubled their run total in the following frame. David Freese and Jose Osuna led off with a walk and single, respectively. A McCutchen ground ball to third base seemed like a gift from above that was destined for a double play, at least. Instead, Machado collected the bouncer, stepped on third and then short-hopped the throw to first base, where Chris Davis failed to successfully scoop the delivery. After a Josh Bell strikeout, Diaz doubled to bring home Osuna and McCutchen. Two batters later, Miley’s night was over.
The lefty’s final line: 2.2 innings, eight hits, four runs, two walks, four strikeouts.
Early on, the Orioles struggled to get much going against Pittsburgh’s starter Chad Kuhl. The 24-year-old right hander was able to use his triple-digit fastball to, mostly, work around four hits and four walks in five innings while giving up one run and striking out four.
The one run Kuhl did allow came in the second inning. Back-to-back walks for Davis and Joseph led off the inning. Crush moved to third on a Jonathan Schoop deep fly ball to center field. Then Hyun Soo Kim brought him home on a fly ball of his own to center. Other than that, the O’s came up empty against the starter despite having the lead-off man reach in four out of five innings.
The worst blown chance came in the fourth inning. Kim was batting, with Schoop at first, Mark Trumbo on third and the O’s down 4-1. Kim check swung at a pitch in the dirt and Trumbo started to run home. Diaz, the Pirates catcher, corralled the loose ball and fired behind Trumbo at third base and nabbed him on his return to the bag.
Miley’s short outing put added pressure on the bullpen who would be asked to pitch, at least, 6.1 innings. Of course, it turned out to be a much bigger commitment than that.
Right hander Mike Wright was the first one summoned from the ‘pen. Believe it or not, he was pretty fantastic. Over 3.1 scoreless innings of work, including finishing up the third inning, he gave up just one hit and no walks while striking out three.
Newly promoted Edwin Jackson took over after Wright and was significantly less awesome. The 33-year-old veteran managed to fight through 2.2 innings of work, but there were times where that seemed like a stretch. Within the first three batters he faced, Jackson had already allowed two runs on a home run by Osuna. Those turned out to be the only runs he gave up in his O’s debut.
Shutdown innings and late-night offense
From there on out, the bullpen was lights out. Richard Bleier, Brad Brach and Mychal Givens combined for 2.1 innings, one hit and one strikeout, giving the offense just enough time to tie things up.
With Kuhl out, Pittsburgh needed four strong innings from their bullpen. It was a tall order and one that they could not be fulfilled.
The score was 6-1 heading into the eighth inning. An Adam Jones solo home run, his 11th of the season, off of Johnny Barbato drew things a tad closer, but that was all the O’s could muster in the inning.
Barbato started the ninth frame as well, but began the inning with a walk to Trumbo and a double down the left field line by Schoop. Tony Watson was then brought on to close things down, but he just couldn’t do it. A sacrifice fly from Joey Rickard drove in Trumbo, and then a J.J. Hardy double brought Schoop home.
Up stepped pinch hitter Trey Mancini with two outs, the Orioles trailing 6-4 and a runner on second base. It was a tough at-bat that saw the rookie swing and miss twice and then foul off four pitches before smacking an 86 mph changeup, that was left in the middle of the plate, into the right field bleachers and tying the game at six runs apiece.
Two innings later, he did it again. With two outs and runners on first and second base (Rickard singled and Joseph walked), the 25-year-old wasted no time and crushed the first pitch he saw deep into the left field stands, giving the Orioles a 9-6, 11-inning win, their second consecutive walk-off win.
It’s still so early in his career, but this kid is showing a real knack for coming up clutch. He is a weapon off the bench and certainly holds his own as an everyday starter too. His performance has been an unexpected bonus for this Orioles team.
There is no off day for the O’s tomorrow as was originally scheduled. Instead, they head down to D.C. to make up for the rained out game from last month. Alec Asher starts for the Birds. He will be opposed by right hander Joe Ross.
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