The Diamondbacks sent nine batters to plate in the first. Yeah, it was that kind of game. And that first inning happened to be an omen for how the rest of the night would go. Aaron Brooks gave up runs early and late in his brief outing and the defense didn’t do him any favors.
Right off the bat in the bottom of the first, Arizona scored three runs on five hits and one walk. The runs came on a triple by Eduardo Escobar, a single by Christian Walker and a single by Nick Ahmed. Adam Jones singled on a line drive over the shortstop as well.
A half inning later the Orioles got their first run of the night. It would also be their only run until the fifth. With runners on first and second and no outs in the second, Stevie Wilkerson hit a line drive that was caught by Jones in the right center gap. Trying to throw out Pedro Severino, who was retreating to first, Jones allowed Anthony Santander to take third in the process.
Then Richie Martin drove Santander home with a pop fly single that was dropped on a diving attempt by Jarrod Dyson. Not only did Martin go 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI on the night, he also showed off his defensive prowess yet again with several impressive plays in the field.
With the Orioles’ goose egg replaced with a one, Brooks came back out for the second and settled down a bit, working around a single to pitch a scoreless inning.
Arizona’s Adam Jones reached base again in the third on a pop fly double into no-man’s land down the line in shallow right. By no means was it an easy play, but the ball was in first baseman Renato Nunez’s glove before popping out onto the turf.
The next batter, Jake Lamb, laced a double to left that was misplayed by Santander, who failed to cut the ball off in the gap and as a result, it rolled all the way to the wall and allowed Jones to score.
Wilkerson caught out number one in center and fired a strike to Alberto at third that would have probably nabbed Lamb advancing if it had stayed in Alberto’s glove. Alas, it did not, and an error was charged to the Orioles, putting a runner on third with only one out. Lamb then scored on an RBI ground out.
Tonight may have been the longest start of Brooks’ brief Orioles career to date, but it was not his most effective. It took the right-hander 73 pitches to get through 3.2 innings. His final pitching line was nine hits, six runs (five earned), one walk and one strikeout. He ended the night with a 5.16 ERA.
Brooks went through the Diamondbacks lineup 2 and 1/3 times, facing 21 batters. He faced the top three in the Arizona lineup in the fourth but was removed after Escobar’s second triple of the night with two outs and cleanup hitter Christian Walker coming up.
Reliever Gabriel Ynoa entered the game fresh off five days rest, having thrown 67 pitches in his previous outing on July 17. But he only lasted a grand total of 1.1 innings and just 24 pitches. Although he didn’t allow any runs, the right-hander did let an inherited runner score in the fourth when Adam Jones hit a screamer on the ground up the middle for an RBI single.
On offense in the fifth, Alberto flashed some rare power at the plate, hitting a solo home run to left, his sixth of the year. Coming into the game, he was hitting .395/.405/.508 in 126 plate appearances this season against lefties and tonight he was 3-for-4 with a home run against Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray.
Two batters after Alberto in the fifth, Nunez hit a solo home run of his own, number 23 on the year. 6-3, Diamondbacks. That was the final scoring the Orioles would muster and it was not enough.
After hitting .444 with four home runs in the last seven days, Trey Mancini was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts tonight in the first game of this series.
Arizona starter Robbie Ray may have allowed two homers on the night, but they were both solo shots. He scattered eight hits over six innings while logging 10 strikeouts and only one walk.
Dylan Bundy will make his return to the mound tomorrow night for the O’s when they play the second installment of the series in the desert.