Orioles Come-From-Behind and Win in 14th Inning at Mariners
The Baltimore Orioles (59-51) upended the Seattle Mariners (51-61) last night in a wild game as they won on a walk-off single struck by Adam Jones in the 14 th inning and the Birds picked up another game on the struggling New York Yankees (63-46) as they moved within 4.5 games of first place in the East.
As I’m sure many fans did last night, you might have changed the channel before they were even able to mount their comeback.
The Mariners quickly pounced on southpaw Zach Britton in the first inning after he surrendered a three-run home run to Kyle Seager, his 12th of the year. They were at it again in the second inning, as they added a couple more and took a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the second inning.
The Mariners added a couple of more insurance runs in the top of the sixth, increasing their lead to 7-2.
Wieters fired back in the bottom half with another solo home run, his 15th of the year and his third career two-home-run-game.
Heading into the seventh inning, the Birds were down by four at 7-3. However, after an Omar Quintanilla RBI single, J.J. Hardy stepped to the dish with a couple of runners on and smacked his 16th home run of the season, tying the game at seven runs apiece.
The Orioles eventually out-lasted the Mariners in the extra-inning affair as Jones delivered the game-winning bases loaded RBI single in the bottom of the 14th to extend their modest winning streak to four games.
Not to mention, the Birds have now won 12 consecutive extra inning games this season. And, on the year, they sport a 12-2 record in such affairs. The Orioles have been one of the most clutch-teams in all of baseball this year, which is really a testament to their bullpen and how consistent they have been.
Last night was no exception.
After Britton lasted just five innings, in which he allowed four earned runs (seven total) on eight base hits (all runs came in first two innings), two walks and six strikeouts, the bullpen came in and took over.
Six Oriole relievers combined for nine scoreless innings; three of those hurlers tossed two innings apiece and everyone except for Luis Ayala lasted at least one inning. Darren O’Day picked up his sixth win of the year after pitching the 13th and 14th inning and allowing just one base hit.
After the game, Britton was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, where now three Orioles’ starters currently are (Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz and Britton). Since making his return to the big leagues in July, he sports just a 1-1 record with an inflated 8.10 ERA in 23.1 innings. Over that stretch, he has allowed 31 base hits and 21 earned runs.
It’s clear there is something wrong with Britton. Maybe he returned too early after his injury and he needs more time to work out his mechanics at Triple-A.
Well, he has about a month to figure out what’s wrong and then the Birds will need him if they are still in the hunt for either the Wild Card or the American League Eastern Championship.
A couple of weeks ago, it looked as if the black and orange would have to settle for anything except for first place in the East with the unstoppable Bronx Bombers in their paths.
However, over their last 10 games, the Yankees are just 3-7 over that stretch and since the All-Star break, they are actually just 10-13. They were leading the Orioles and Rays by seven or eight games up until last week. Currently, they sport just a 4.5 lead over the Birds.
The Orioles are coming off of a great road trip in which they took 2-of-3 in both New York and Tampa Bay. Plus, with last night’s come-from-behind victory against the Mariners, the Birds have won the last three series and seven of their last nine games overall.
The black and orange are getting hot at the right time of the year. They conclude the series against the Mariners tonight at Camden Yards, and then welcome the Kansas City Royals to town for a four-game series this weekend and then the Red Sox as they wrap up their home stand.
The Birds really need to focus on playing better at home. On the year, they sport just a 27-26 record, and were under .500 entering this home stand.
On the road, where they have struggled over the last couple of seasons, they are seven games over .500 at 32-25.
In tonight’s finale, the Mariners will send former Oriole and veteran Kevin Millwood (4-9, 4.01 ERA) to the hill. In his career against the O’s, he sports a 1-2 record with a strong 3.26 ERA in 19.1 innings of work.
The Orioles will send rookie Steve Johnson to the mound for his debut. He was recalled after Britton was optioned to Triple-A. Johnson was 4-8 with a 2.86 ERA in 14 starts (19 games) this season with the Norfolk Tides. He surrendered 31 walks, 66 base hits and struck out 86 on the year.
Tommy Hunter was supposed to make the start tonight, but with last night’s 14-inning affair, he warmed up on a couple of different occasions and would not have been able to go deep into tonight’s game and that’s something he Orioles are looking for out of Johnson.
They need a well-pitched, short game tonight. They have a long weekend ahead of them, and they exhausted their bullpen last night.
Check out the Birds tonight at 7pm as they go for the sweep of the Mainers at Camden Yards.
By: Alex Van Rees
> View all of the MLB baseball news articles from ProBaseball-fans.com.