In the Orioles’ fourth game against the Padres this season, they finally got their first win. It didn’t start out promising, but the Birds found ways to overcome mistakes and eventually wrestle the lead away from San Diego.
Manny Machado continued his assault on Oriole pitching this afternoon in the series finale. Entering play today, Machado had gone 6-for-12 with a home run in three games against his former team. This afternoon, he continued that hot-hitting trend, going 2-for-5 with a home run and two runs scored.
Starting pitching today for the Orioles was not that good. But the bullpen was solid. Starter Tom Eshelman alternated bad and good frames in his brief outing, working four total innings while giving up three runs in the first and one in the third. He allowed four earned runs total with one walk and five strikeouts, throwing 42 strikes and 21 balls for a total of 63 pitches.
The Padres jumped on the right-hander right at the start, logging two solo home runs in the first inning courtesy of leadoff man Fernando Tatis Jr. and number three hitter Machado. And they didn’t stop there. Eric Hosmer singled and scored on Wil Myers’ double over the head of Trey Mancini. After 25 pitches and four hits, the Padres led 3-0 heading to the second.
Eshelman was unable to hit even 90 mph on the radar gun in this outing, with his fastball working in the mid-80s for the majority of the game.
After a poor first inning, the O’s right-hander had a respectable bounce-back inning in the second, retiring the side in order on 10 pitches. He got some help when Luis Urias was called out at second on what was initially ruled a leadoff double. The Orioles challenged the play and it was reversed, with replay showing that Urias was tagged when he came off the bag.
The Padres were back at it again in the third, with Mancini nearly making a spectacular sliding play on a low liner from Machado, but it popped out of his glove for a single. Then all of a sudden, the bases were loaded with one out. San Diego’s fourth run of the day scored on a fielder’s choice ground ball.
In just his fifth start of the year, Padres starter Dinelson Lamet fell an inning short of a quality start but left with the lead. He threw 88 pitches, including 61 strikes, over the course of five innings. The right-hander allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
The Birds pushed across their first run against Lamet in the fourth on an RBI single by Jace Peterson. Mancini led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on a Renato Nunez single and subsequently scored, courtesy of Peterson. A Pedro Severino walk then loaded the bases with one out, giving the Orioles their best chance yet to get back into the game.
Chris Davis walked to the plate in the midst of an 0-for-14 streak and fell behind quickly, 0-2. He came back to even the count and then struck out swinging. It was his second strikeout of the day up to that point. But Richie Martin came through with two outs, delivering a two-run single up the middle and bringing the O’s within one, 4-3.
Unfortunately, this game was also punctuated by an error and a couple of other awkward plays in the field by the O’s. In the fifth, Jonathan Villar was charged with an error when he made an errant flip to Martin on a potential double play that resulted in both Padres runners being safe. In the same inning, Davis made a great diving stop of a ground ball behind first base but then bobbled it, allowing the runner to reach. A run (unearned) scored on the aforementioned play with Gabriel Ynoa on the mound. 5-3, Padres.
As far as the awkward plays that influenced another inning — this one being the third — Martin made a throw to third base from deep in the hole that pulled Peterson off the bag and kept all runners safe. Then there’s the Mancini slide earlier in the same inning when the ball went in and out of his glove.
Late in the game against the San Diego bullpen, the Orioles were able to mount a comeback and pull even with the Padres, getting a clutch two-run single from Nunez in the seventh. Hanser Alberto, who continues to dominate left-handers, started the inning with a pinch-hit single off San Diego lefty Matt Strahm. The recently hot-hitting Anthony Santander doubled to left before Nunez came up with a huge base knock to score both runners and tie the game, 5-5.
Then Chris Davis delivered quite a surprise in the top of the eighth, launching a solo home run to dead center field. 6-5, Orioles. It was his eighth home run of the year in 78 games played, and it was also his first home run this year against a left-hander.
The O’s put runners on the corners with two outs and Trey Mancini was the one to come up with a big hit this time. Villar stole second and came around to score along with Martin on a two-run single from the O’s right fielder. 8-5, Orioles.
Shawn Armstrong got a two-inning save — his third of the year — needing only 29 pitches to do so. He struck out two and allowed only one hit. It was a fitting ending too, with Manny Machado at the plate and two out in the bottom of the ninth. The ex-Oriole grounded out to end the game.
The Orioles’ pitching staff as a whole had 12 strikeouts and only two walks today. The lineup was 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
The next game for the O’s comes on Thursday at Camden Yards, where the team may look different after the July 31 trade deadline passes.
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