If the Orioles could play the Rays at Camden Yards every day, they might actually have a shot at a winning season. For the third straight night, the Birds scored double-digit runs, beating Tampa Bay 11-5 and taking three out of four from their AL East rivals.
Playoffs are back on! :p
If you don’t watch Dylan Bundy pitch much, this game was the perfect encapsulation of his 2018 season. The right-hander entered the game with a 1.83 ERA during day games. You could see why today as he served up only four hits, struck out seven and allowed no walks in seven innings of work under the sun. Impressive stuff to be sure.
He also entered play with 23 home runs allowed (plus three that were wiped out by a rainout last week). That’s the second-most in MLB. On Sunday, he let up three runs, all three scored via a trio of solo dongs, sliding him into that undesirable spot at the top of the league in homers allowed.
The pitches that were hit out of the park were not the most difficult to square up for the Rays hitters. Two of them were low-90s fastballs sitting in the middle of the plate. The other was a slider that didn’t slide quite enough. C.J. Cron victimized Bundy twice, hitting a homer in the second inning and again in the fourth. Jack Bauers hit the other four-bagger in the sixth inning.
All in all, it was a fine start for Bundy. The 25-year-old had allowed 15 earned runs in just 12.1 innings over his last three official starts and was off to a horrific beginning against Boston last week before the rain crept in. This game was better, and given how hot the O’s bats have been lately, he did more than enough to put his team in a position to win.
Just like the previous two games in this series, this game was all about the Orioles offense. For the third straight game, they scored double digit runs, and you will never believe who led the charge.
Chris Davis hit two home runs and drove in a game-high four runs. No, you did not jump into a very lame time machine and head back to 2013. The Orioles first baseman went yard for the third and fourth times since the All-Star break. At this point, that is all he needs to do for many fans to be OK with him in the lineup everyday. With that salary, he is going to play. He can hit for a low average and strike out, but just give us some power, Chris. Allow me to go out on a limb and say that Davis may still be able to avoid the moniker of “worst season ever”.
Of course, one man cannot score 11 runs on his own. Mark Trumbo kicked off the scoring with an RBI fielder’s choice in the first inning, bringing home Tim Beckham, who had led off with a double. Davis’ first home run of the day followed to score himself and Trumbo. Special shoutout to Rays center fielder Mallex Smith, who gave the Davis homer the last little push it needed to get over the fence.
We'll take it!— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) July 29, 2018
Sorry not sorry, Mallex. #Birdland pic.twitter.com/GAIRcDgwks
That home run wouldn’t have happened without Jones breaking up a double play earlier in the inning. On Trumbo’s fielder’s choice, Jones made a clean slide into second base, making it tough for Daniel Robertson to set his feet and make a throw back to first. That extended the inning and the rest is history. Robertson did leave the game with an apparent injury on that play, but thankfully x-rays were negative.
The Birds fourth run came home in the second inning. Austin Wynns reached base to begin the frame after an error by shortstop Willy Adames. A Beckham single moved him to second and then Joey Wendle kicked the ball around in left field, allowing Wynns to reach third. Jones brought him home on the next pitch to extend the lead.
Wynns’ day kept getting better in the fourth inning as he hit his second career home run. For a moment, it looked as though an overly enthusiastic Orioles fan had reached over the fence to help the ball reach the seats, but a review confirmed the dong for the catcher.
Hello! Goodbye, home run! @AustinWynns #Birdland pic.twitter.com/TgOiId0EJj— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) July 29, 2018
Davis walked to lead off the fifth inning and came around to score later after a pair of singles from Joey Rickard and Jace Peterson. The Baltimore bats took the sixth inning off and then got back to scoring in the seventh with an “Earl Weaver Special” from none other than Jonathan Schoop, his seventh homer since the All-Star break. Carrying the torch indeed.
Carry the torch, Jonathan. #Birdland pic.twitter.com/5cfE4utyJx— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) July 29, 2018
The eighth inning was an active frame for both clubs. Mychal Givens came on in relief of Bundy and had another tough outing. Adames walked, Wendle singled, Matt Duffy singled and Bauers had a sac fly. When it was all said and done, the bad guys had scored twice to cut to deficit to four runs.
Unfortunately for them, the Orioles got those runs right back as Davis blasted his second bomb of the day in the bottom of the inning, driving in Trumbo who had singled in front of him, to give us our final 11-5 scoreline.
.@CrushD19 goes deep twice in O's series finale victory over Tampa Bay.— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) July 29, 2018
Recap: https://t.co/8lKPdmgn25 #Birdland pic.twitter.com/kIPFCqQVDl
The ninth inning was a tad sketchy for O’s bullpen. Paul Fry came on but was not too effective, allowing two singles, notching a strike out and hitting a batter to load the bases. Sudden relief ace Michael Wright Jr. entered to strike out Adames and enduce a Wendle line out to close out to win. Wright is going to be the Orioles next closer, isn’t he?
This was a fun series at Camden Yards. They took three out of four against a solid Rays team. It’s possible that this was the last time we will see Jones and others in the orange and black. Who knows? It’s one of those unfortunate realities of being a bad baseball team. If that does happen, at least they were sent off on a high note. One person that will not be traveling with the club on their next road trip is Brad Brach, who has apparently being traded to the Atlanta Braves. Thanks for your contributions to the club, Brad! Good luck in Atlanta and say “Hi!” to Nick for us.
The Orioles will be off on Monday and then kick off a quick two-game series in the Bronx against the Yankees on Tuesday. Yefry Ramirez (1-3, 3.49 ERA) will pitch for the Birds and will be opposed by Masahiro Tanaka (8-2, 4.09 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. It might be one active off day for the Birds as the trade deadline approaches.
Who was the Most Birdland Player for Sunday, July 29?
This poll is closed
Dylan Bundy (W, 7 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 7 SO, 0 BB)
Tim Beckham (3-for-5, 2B, 2 R)
Jonathan Schoop (1-for-5, another dong, 3 RBI)
Chris Davis (2-for-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 3 R)
Austin Wynns (1-for-3, 3 R, 1 BB, threw out a base runner)
Mike Wright Jr. (Gets Fry out of a 9th inning jam)
Adam Jones (3-for-4, RBI, SB, maybe his last game)