The Orioles entered tonight needing one win to get back to .500 for the season since June 29. Dylan Bundy looked to extend a run of O’s starters giving up two or fewer earned runs in 8 of the last 9 starts, while the Angels’ JC Ramirez entered the game with the lowest run support of any American league starter. Would the O’s be able to spoil Mike Trout’s birthday?
Yes, yes they did, but it took a while to do it.
Ramirez came out and sat down the O’s 1-2-3 on just 7 pitches, and it set the tone of the first three innings as neither team could mount any sort of offense. Mike Trout scored the game’s first run in the 4th. His double was his 1,000th hit, and he eventually scored on a SAC fly by Kole Calhoun. As someone noted on Twitter, with his 1,00th hit on his 26th birthday, at this pace, he’ll be 30 in 4 years.
The lead didn’t last long, as the O’s came right back in the 5th and scored 2 runs of their own. The AL Player of the Week Tim Beckham led off with a single, and advanced to second base on a throwing error by Ramirez on a throw over to first base.
Seth Smith then walked, and Welington Castillo’s fly to right moved them both up 90 feet as the throw went to third base instead of second base, and Beckham just beat it. Joey Rickard hit a weak pop to the Bermuda Triangle in short center field, and Beckham scored. Smith then scored on a proper SAC fly by Adam Jones, and the O’s had the lead.
Bundy and Ramirez were both throwing fairly well tonight, but Bundy was finding another level. A Trout homer tied the game in the 6th (his 4th homer in 6 games on his birthday), but Bundy already had 7 strikeouts by that homer and would add 3 more by the end of the 7th inning. He allowed no walks, just 5 hits, and the 2 earned runs.
Ramirez, however, stuck around one inning too long. After Beckham popped out to second base to start the 7th inning, Smith singled, and Castillo did the same right behind him. Rickard looked bad looking at a called strike three, but Jones took first on a hit-by-pitch that appeared to catch him on the belt buckle. And up came Manny Machado to the plate.
Ramirez threw high and tight for ball one, then tried to go outside. Machado almost fell across the plate slashing at the pitch, and drove it 423 feet for a grand slam, and a close 2-2 pitchers’ duel was now a 6-2 O’s lead.
Bundy would complete the 7th inning, and Mychal Givens and Brad Brach would finish out the game for the O’s, each pitching a scoreless inning. Machado and Chris Davis each made stellar defensive plays late in the game to seal the Angels’ fate. Machado started a great double play off a hard smash by C.J. Cron in the 7th and in the 9th, Chris Davis charged a Kole Calhoun grounder, fielded it backhand, and flipped it cross-body to Brach covering.
The Orioles head into tomorrow looking to go above .500 for the first time since June 11, and sit just 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card. Ain’t baseball great?
Who is the Most Birdland Player for August 7, 2017?
This poll is closed
Manny Machado (1-4, 1H, 1R, 4 RBI, Grand Slam)
Seth Smith (1-2, 1 BB, 2 R)
Dylan Bundy (7.0 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 10 K, 0 BB)