A lot of Baltimore Orioles fans had to wonder what was going on when they noticed Jonathan Schoop playing shortstop yesterday afternoon. Admittedly, I raised an eyebrow at the move also. However when you’ve lost five straight games and things are turning south, you might as well shake up the lineup here and there. That’s what the Orioles did – and if the result is any indication, it worked.
I wouldn’t expect to see Schoop at short often, however it should put the Orioles at ease knowing that he can play there. What also should put the Orioles at ease was Wade Miley‘s outing in yesterday’s game. Miley’s line: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K. Obviously the O’s would prefer Miley to go deeper into games, however this start is about par for the course for him. The difference is that he only gave up one run.
The O’s trailed in this game before they took a lead, on the heels of Sano’s solo homer in the last of the third. But one inning later it was the shortstop, Schoop, who put the O’s in the lead for good. His two-run home run gave the Birds a 2-1 lead. And the best news for Oriole bats? They added on.
Manny Machado continued his hot streak with an RBI-double in the sixth. He would later score on an error that allowed Trumbo to reach. For once it seemed the opponent was making a few mistakes in the game, and the O’s were holding them accountable.
And ironically, it was the end of the sixth inning which may have decided the game. Miley gave way to O’Day, who promptly hit a batter to load the bases with two outs. You have to believe that Minnesota had to just know that this was the part of the story where they stand up and seize control of the game from the Orioles, never to look back. So when O’Day, who wasn’t at his best yesterday, powered a fastball past Escobar to end the inning, you could almost see the shock on the faces of the Minnesota players.
Trumbo would smack a solo home run in the eighth to offer the Orioles even more of a cushion, and the Birds cruised to a 5-1 victory. That of course snapped a five-game losing streak, and for the Orioles’ sake perhaps restored some semblance of normalcy to the clubhouse. Inicidentally, the fact that Trumbo has started to heat up just a bit in the last week bodes well for the Orioles as they head into the second half. They just have to hope that it continues.
The Birds will try to earn a split with Minnesota in this afternoon’s series finale at Target Field. Ubaldo Jimenez gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson. Game time is set for just after 2 PM.