The offense could not have woken up at a better time, and “Crush” had plenty to do with it (Photo: Patrick Semansky, AP)
After perhaps their most disappointing and heartbreaking series of the season, the Baltimore Orioles were able to bounce back and win two out of three from the Colorado Rockies at Camden Yards.
In their previous series, against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field, the O’s entered the ninth inning tied or leading in all three games, only to see Darren O’Day lose game 1 and closer Jim Johnson blow saves in the final two games before losing in extras.
The Colorado series did not get off to a promising start either, seeing Baltimore drop game 1 by a score of 6-3 after starter Wei-Yin Chen gave up 4 runs over 6.1 innings (all four runs came in the 5th, 6th and 7th) and Francisco Rodriguez gave up yet another homerun in relief. Matt Wieters did hit his 17th HR of the year in the 9th inning, but by then it was too little, too late.
Game 2, however, was a different story completely. The Baltimore offense exploded for 7 runs in the third inning off of Rockies starter Chad Bettis, and the birds would go on to win the game 8-4. The team put up huge numbers without hitting a homerun, a rarity for them this season. Chris Davis, Brian Roberts, and Manny Machado did all have doubles, however, and Bud Norris held Colorado in check long enough to pick up his third win as an Oriole (9-10 overall).
The suddenly energized lineup carried into game 3, as this time the birds spread out the runs on their way to a 7-2 victory. Alexi Casilla started off the scoring with a base hit into right field in the 2nd inning that plated Nick Markakis. In the third inning, Adam Jones powered his 25th dinger of the season to center field, a two-run shot that put the O’s up by 3. A Brian Roberts single in the seventh would bring home Chris Davis and Jones, and in the 8th, Crush took things into his own hands and launched his 45th homer of the year to finish off Baltimore’s offensive output for the day. On the mound, Scott Feldman gave the birds arguably his best performance since arriving in Baltimore, going 6.2 innings and only allowing two runs to cross the plate. He also only allowed 7 base-runners total. Tommy Hunter, O’Day, and newly-recalled (and, after the game, sent down) reliever Josh Stinson pitched a scoreless 2.1 innings combined to stop any hopes of a Colorado comeback.
This series was exactly what the Orioles needed after their debacle in the desert. They will look to keep their fresh two game win streak alive at home in a very important series with the Tampa Bay Rays beginning on Monday night. Chris Tillman (14-3, 3.70) will square off against Rays ace David Price (6-5, 3.28) in game one.
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