Entering Saturday, the Orioles were 57-59, two games out of the second Wild Card, with five games left on a crucial road trip and 46 games to go in the season. Considering all the numbers, and plethora of teams ahead of them in the standings, there was only one thing the Baltimore Orioles realistically could do. Since the game was at Oakland Alameda Coliseum, channeling ghosts of Al Davis – “Just win baby!”
Quite the first inning; runs galore
The O’s wasted no time jumping on southpaw Sean Manaea. What happened was epic, and something they hadn’t done since 2008.
Tim Beckham walked to start the fun and Manny Machado lined a double off the wall in left center scoring Beckham. Jonathan Schoop followed with a single to right, moving Machado to third. Adam Jones doubled, scoring Machado, but Schoop was thrown out at the plate 7-6-2.
Keeping the first inning party alive, Trey Mancini singled, making it 3-0. Mark Trumbo doubled, the O’s sixth consecutive batter reaching base, putting runners at second and third for Chris Davis. Chris made it seven with a single, scoring Mancini, and it was curtains for Manaea. One out, seven batters, six hits and four runs. Not what Bob Melvin and the A’s were looking for from their starter.
Michael Brady was the new Oakland pitcher and Welington Castillo greeted him with a fielder’s choice scoring Trumbo. Joey Rickard singled to left, and Tim Beckham had his second at bat of the inning. Beckham doubled, picking up two RBI and the O’s new shortstop extended his hit streak to 12 consecutive games.
At the end of a half inning, it was 7-0 Baltimore. The Birds sent eleven batters to the plate, totaled eight hits, including four doubles and were 5-7 with runners in scoring position. It was an excellent frame, too bad it doesn’t happen every night.
In the bottom of the first, Dylan Bundy walked the leadoff hitter, Boog Powell (more on him in the notes section at the bottom of this recap), on four pitches. Two batters later, Khris Davis, hit a homerun to center making it 7-2. It was the 32nd bomb of the year for Davis. Bundy got out of the inning with no further damage, striking out two. After 40 minutes and six outs, this was a first inning MLB fans don’t see every day.
Second inning, not as exciting
In the top of the second, the O’s went down in order. Quite a change from the first. In the bottom of the inning, Matt Olson led off crushing a homerun to right, and it was 7-3. This game was shaping up to be an American League special.
Bundy followed with strikeouts of Matt Chapman and Bruce Maxwell. Marcus Semien walked, Boog Powell singled and Chad Pinder flew out to Mark Trumbo. Despite the fast start, Bundy didn’t look overly sharp and O’s fans had reason to feel anxiety.
More Baltimore offense
In the fourth, Joey Rickard was hit by a pitch and Tim Beckham – no surprise here! – followed with a double. Then, on two total pitches and the ball not leading the infield, Machado and Schoop were retired. With two outs, Adam Jones, batting cleanup, came through with a two out single to center, scoring two runs. Trey Mancini lined out to center ending the inning, but it was 9-3 and the Birds had some breathing room back.
Dylan Bundy and the A’s hurlers
In the sixth, after generally finding a groove throughout the game (not too much of one, but enough of one), Bundy’s gas tank appeared to be emptying. He retired Matt Olson on a groundout, Matt Chapman walked and Bruce Maxwell singled to center. After almost hitting Marcus Semien in the head, Bundy unloaded a picture-perfect slider for the strikeout and second out of the inning. Boog Powell was next and with two men on he struck out.
That was it for Bundy with 104 pitches. All in all, a solid outing pitching six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, three walks and 10 strikeouts. It wasn’t nails, but it was exactly what needed to be done after the offense spotted him a 7-0 lead in the first. And that’s 20 strikeouts in the last two games for the emerging O’s ace.
For Oakland, Sean Manaea clearly had the worst line of the night – 0.1 innings pitched, six hits, six runs and a walk. Manaea is from Valparaiso, Indiana, attended Indiana State, and has had three terrible starts in a row.
Michael Brady, charged with cleaning up the mess left by Manaea, was much better than his predecessor. He left after hitting Jonathan Schoop with a pitch and two outs in the sixth inning. On the night, Brady pitched 5.1 innings, yielding seven hits, three runs and striking out five. Not bad, considering that he surely didn’t expect to pitch in the first inning.
The final frames
Darren O’Day relieved Bundy and pitched a perfect seventh. Miguel Castro came out for the eighth and gave up a single, one out double and sacrifice fly to make it 9-4. With a runner on third and two outs, Marcus Semien singled, scoring another run, 9-5, and that was it for Castro. Miguel has been a bit shaky since his strong six inning outing against Detroit on August 3. The job fell to Mychal Givens turn to try and avoid a replay of Friday’s bullpen troubles. Givens retired Boog Powell on a strikeout and all was right with the world.
The O’s added some insurance in the ninth with a Craig Gentry double and Chris Davis single. It was very nice to see Davis get an RBI, and it was against the shift. Also in the ninth, just when it appeared the offense had done all they could, Tim Beckham doubled, scoring Joey Rickard. Machado added another RBI as well on a single to right.
Mychal Givens stayed on for the ninth and pitched 1.1 innings.
Tim Beckham keeps rolling
It’s unreal what this guy is doing. Beckham’s four hits Friday make him 26-49 as an Oriole. That’s video game stuff. His only blemish Friday night was a strikeout in the eighth inning and a fielding error in the ninth. Apparently, he is human. Apart from that, Beckham had a walk, three doubles, single, scored three times and had three RBI.
Notes and Sunday’s game
Boog Powell played center field for the A’s on Saturday, making his Oakland debut. He’s from Irvine, California, and is no relation to THE Boog Powell. But, because his grandfather was a fan, the A’s Boog was named after the O’s Boog. Boog and Boog will meet for the first time later this month when Oakland comes to Baltimore (August 21, 22, 23).
Oakland manager Bob Melvin played for Baltimore in 1989-91. He appeared in 257 MLB games as a member of the Orioles.
Before Saturday, May 20, 2008, was the last time the O’s scored seven runs in the first inning. Baltimore won that game 12-2 against the Yankees.
Trey Mancini has 34 multi-hit games in 2017. Jonathan Schoop leads Baltimore with 39.
Saturday night, Welington Castillo saw his 10-game hit streak come to an end. He was the only Oriole that played without a hit.
Long-time MLB reporter Bruce Levine says Baltimore is possibly interested in acquiring Derek Holland (6-11, 5.25) and Miguel Gonzalez (6-10, 4.85) from the Chicago White Sox for the stretch run. It certainly wouldn’t hurt anything.
Fittingly, it was fireworks night after the game in Oakland.
Sunday’s game in Oakland is at 4:05ET. Jeremy Hellickson (7-6, 4.45) vs. Kendall Graveman (2-3, 4.97).
Who was the Most Birdland Player for August 12?
This poll is closed
Tim Beckham (4-5, 3 RBI)
Adam Jones (3-5, 3 RBI)
Dylan Bundy (6IP, 3R, 10K)
O’s Team Offense (20 hits, 12 runs)