Ubaldo Jimenez has been steadily better of late than he was in the first half of the season. Last night he came within two outs of a quality start, but still looked decent in doing so. Jimenez’s line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 11 K. Yes you read that correctly; 11 strikeouts.
However the Orioles’ bullpen couldn’t hold onto a late lead, with Brad Brach allowing Oakland to come back in the eighth inning on his watch. The Birds took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Adam Jones smacked his second homer in as many games. This one obviously was of the solo variety, but it put the Orioles on the right track. Two innings later Jones would ground into a double-play, which also yielded a run and gave the O’s a 2-0 lead.
But in the bottom of that inning Oakland fought back. Davis’ RBI-double cut the lead to 2-1. Later in the inning Olson’s two-run home run gave Oakland the lead at 3-2. But the Birds weren’t out of it – yet. Schoop’s two-RBI double in the fifth gave them the lead back at 4-3.
Oakland may be in full rebuild mode, but they’re scrappy none the less. An RBI-double in the last of the eighth tied the score back up at four, and Oakland would later take a 5-4 lead (which turned into a 5-4 win) on a sac fly-RBI. All of this off of the aforementioned Brach, who took the loss and the blown save.
These types of games will happen, but they really hit home when you’re a team like the Orioles who are trying to get back into the race. The Birds now sit two games out of the final wild card spot. However there are several teams ahead of them as well, which makes it tougher. Buck Showalter admitted afterwards that while it wasn’t Brach’s night, all games are the sum of the parts (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):
There’s a lot more to the game than that, but I know everyone’s focus is there. Brad has been great for us, but tonight just wasn’t his night. A couple balls elevated and command was a little off, but so was Mychal (Givens) a little bit.
The O’s will try to get back on track in the series this evening. Dylan Bundy will head to the mound for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Sean Manaea. Game time is set for just after 9 PM.