Baltimore Orioles: Avian power surge

The Baltimore Orioles were in an offensive funk prior to Adam Jones going down for a few days; however apparently all it took for them to get out of it was for “the Captain” to come back. The O’s exploded in last night’s series finale against New York for ten runs, which clinched a series victory. As I’ve been saying, the lack of runs and power is a phase; all teams go through it from time to time. For the Orioles’ sake, hopefully they’re finished with it now.

Kevin Gausman had his struggles in this game, however ironically most of them came after the O’s had put up several runs in the previous inning. Gausman’s line: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R (2 earned) 5 BB, 4 K. Obviously he stuck around long enough to qualify for a much-needed win, pitching the necessary five innings.

The Birds took a 1-0 lead in the last of the third when Jones smacked an RBI-double to center. That also left runners at the corners which allowed Trumbo to produce a two-RBI double later in the inning. And for good measure, Chris Davis‘ RBI-single ran the Orioles’ lead to 4-0.

New York would get one back in the fourth on a force out at first base which scored a run, however the O’s were far from finished. With two runners on in the last of the fourth inning Adam Jones ceremoniously announced his return, and perhaps that of the Orioles in general. His three-run homer broke the game open and gave th Orioles a 7-1 lead.

However that lead at times seemed somewhat precarious. Hicks would smack an RBI-double in the fifth for New York, and Holliday an RBI-single. Luckily for the Orioles, they were able to pitch out of that, as NY left the bases loaded. But one swing could have changed the scope of the game. Luckily for the O’s, that never happened.

In fact, the Birds extended the lead in the later innings. Chris Davis seemingly broke out of his funk with a two-run homer in the seventh, and Jones added another run on an RBI-single in the last of the eighth (after New York came to within 9-4 on a Gardener RBI-groundout in the top of the inning). Offensive woes are nothing that a ten-run game won’t cure I suppose.

Perhaps very quietly this series, the Orioles’ bullpen started to function as it was meant to do once again. In the two Orioles’ wins, we saw O’Day shut New York down in the eighth, and Brach in the ninth. Obviously they’re still missing Britton, but the fact remains that the ‘pen has gotten stronger again. Obviously if they want it to remain that way they’re going to need starters to go deeper than 5.1 innings, however I think the O’s will take that in a winning effort as opposed to Gausman’s last start where he pitched seven strong innings and lost.

The O’s now open a big four-game set with Boston at home. Wade Miley gets the start this evening for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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