Buck Showalter Looks To Lead The Baltimore Orioles To A Winning Season in 2012...Let's Go O's!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Britton Brilliant As O's Topple Chi-Sox

The Orioles took the series from the Chicago White Sox with a 5-3 victory on Thursday afternoon at Camden Yards.

Zach Britton turned in one of his best performances...ever. He went eight solid innings, allowing just a run on seven hits, walking none while striking out a career-high ten. Britton (4-1) was in control the entire game...he never went to ball three against a single batter.

The O's were retired in order through the first eight batters before Taylor Teagarden went deep to tie the game in the third. It was the first of five straight extra-base hits...the four-run inning was capped-off with Adam Jones' 26th homer of the season and second in as many games.

The Birds (72-58) are now three games behind the first-place Yankees...and head to New York to start a three-game set on Friday night. Wow. Big series? That's an understatement. Miguel Gonzalez is slated to take the mound...stay tuned!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Saunders Rocked in O's Debut

The O's win streak was snapped at four as the Birds fell to Chicago 8-1 on Wednesday night at Camden Yards.

Joe Saunders, making his Orioles' debut, gave up four runs in the first and was charged with seven runs (six earned) on ten hits and two walks over 5 1/3 innings, fanning four.

The O's managed just three hits in the game (two went for doubles) but scored only once on a sacrifice fly.

On the bright side, the Yankees had lost earlier so the Birds didn't lose any ground in the chase for first in the East. The Birds wrap-up the four game set on Thursday afternoon...Zach Britton is slated to take the mound.

Tillman Stifles Sox

The Orioles held the Chicago White Sox to just two hits in a 6-0 victory on Tuesday night at Camden Yards.

Chris Tillman (7-2) went seven solid innings, allowing just an infield single while walking four and fanning five. Brian Matusz pitched the final two frames, allowing just an infield hit as well while striking out two.

The Birds put three runs on the board in the second inning with Nick Markakis' bases-clearing double. Lew Ford homered for the second straight game, a solo shot in the third. Adam Jones ended his drought with a solo homer in the seventh, his 25th of the season and 100th of his young career.

The O's have now won four straight and send newly acquired lefty Joe Saunders to the mound on Wednesday night.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

McClouth Lifts O's Over White Sox

The Orioles won yet another one-run ballgame with a 4-3 victory over Chicago on Monday night at Camden Yards.

The O's took an early 1-0 lead on Lew Ford's first homer of the season. Chicago took the lead in the sixth and again in the eighth before Nate McClouth stepped to the plate in the bottom of the frame. Mark Reynolds had just worked his third walk of the game before McClouth crushed his second homer of the year.

The Birds set a new franchise record as they have now won 13 straight one-run games, and tied a season high as the went 13 games over .500. The O's (70-57) are now just 3 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the East and are tied with Oakland for the Wild Card lead. Chris Tillman takes the mound Tuesday night.

Rain Washes Chance At Sweep Away

Rain postponed Sunday afternoon's game between the O's and Jays. The game will be made-up as part of a doubleheader on Monday, September 24th at Camden Yards.

Johnson Solid As O's Spank Jays

Steve Johnson went six strong innings and the O's offense backed him up in an 8-2 win over Toronto on Saturday night at Camden Yards.

Johnson (2-0) allowed two runs in the first before settling down to pitch five scoreless frames. He allowed just four hits and two walks while striking out seven.

J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones and Matt Wieters had two RBIs each...Hardy doubled and homered in the game.

The O's go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon...Chris Tillman is slated to take the mound.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Chris Davis Powers O's Over Jays

It was fireworks night at Camden Yards on Friday night, and it was Chris Davis who provided the in-game show, launching three home runs in a 6-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Davis knocked solo shots in the second and fourth and then a two-run bomb in the sixth. The crowd came to its' feet in the eighth, but Davis went down swinging. No Oriole has ever hit four homers in a single game...

Davis now has 23 long-balls on the year, second only to Adam Jones (24) and now leads the team with 64 RBIs (Jones has 63).

Zach Britton turned in his second straight quality start, lasting 6 2/3 innings and giving up two runs on four hits and two walks, fanning six. Matt Lindstrom gave up a two-run shot in the ninth, but Jim Johnson retired the side to pick up his 39th save of the season, tied for best in the Majors.

The O's (68-57) are now tied with the A's for the second Wild Card spot...Steve Johnson takes the mound on Saturday night.

Hunter Rocked By Rangers

The O's were unable to take the series in Texas, as they were rocked 12-3 on Wednesday night.

Tommy Hunter allowed only a solo homer in the second inning before getting blasted in a nine-run fourth. Hunter (4-8) didn't record an out in that fateful frame, allowing seven runs on seven hits including a two-run shot and a grand slam. Kevin Gregg came on in relief and allowed another two-run blast, and suddenly a 1-1 tie ballgame was a 10-1 blowout...

Nick Markakis went 3-for-4 with a triple and drove in all three runs for the Birds.

Although they lost the series, the O's still went 3-3 on the road trip through Detroit and Texas, which was no small feat. The club rests on Thursday before hosting the Blue Jays for a three-game set starting Friday night. Zach Britton takes the mound for the O's.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tillman Tops Texas

This playoff push is getting pretty exciting, and the O's continue to play great ball against great teams. Tuesday night was no exception, as the Orioles toppled the Texas rangers 5-3 in Arlington.

Chris Tillman was in command, allowing just a solo homer in the third before surrendering a two-run bomb in the seventh. Tillman (6-2) went 6 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and a walk while striking out seven. Pedro Strop possibly saved the game with a full-count strikeout of Josh Hamilton with two on and two outs in the seventh. Jim Johnson was credited with the save after a 1-2-3 ninth.

The O's took a 1-0 lead in the first before breaking through with a four-run fifth. Nate McLouth launched his first homer of the season, a two-run shot, to cap-off the scoring.

The Yankees and Rays both lost, so the Orioles now trail them in the East by five and one game, respectively. The O's still hold sole possession of the second Wild Card spot. Tommy Hunter takes the mound tonight against his former team.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Gonzalez, O's Fall To Texas

It started out promising...the O's scored in the first inning but then were shut down in a 5-1 loss to the Rangers on Monday night.

Adam Jones' RBI single was all the Birds could muster as they were held to just four hits all night, all singles except for a Nate McLouth double in the first (he scored on Jones' single).

Miguel Gonzalez (5-3) lasted just five innings, surrendering four runs on eight hits and three walks, fanning two in the loss. J.C. Romero doesn't seem to be the left-handed solution out of the 'pen, as he surrendered another run in the ninth.

With the loss, the O's (66-56) fell six games behind the Yankees in the East, and two games behind the Rays in the Wild Card race, though they still hold the second spot. Chris Tillman looks to bounce back tonight and put the Birds back into the win column.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Birds Battle Back To Tame Tigers

It's almost become normal this season...these O's never say die. Down 5-0 in the first inning, the Orioles battled back to beat the Tigers 7-5 in Detroit on Sunday afternoon.

The Tigers hadn't lost a home series since early June, winning 18 of their past 20 at Comerica Park, but the Birds took 2-of-3 from them over the weekend. It was the third time in the past 18 games that the O's have been down by five runs and came back to win.

Wie-Yin Chen (12-7) looked lost early, giving up five runs in the first inning. He settled down and dominated Detroit's potent lineup, lasting five innings and picking up an improbable win. The bullpen held the Tigers to just two hits over the final four frames...amazing. Jim Johnson retired the side in order in the ninth, recording his 37th save in 40 attempts this season.

The top of the order came through, with the first five batters in the lineup accounting for seven of the O's nine hits and all seven RBIs. Chris Davis homered for the second consecutive game, J.J. Hardy celebrated his 30th Birthday with a two-run double and Nate McLouth had a two-run triple.

The Orioles (66-55) are still in third in the East but now hold sole possession of the second Wild Card spot. The Birds send Miguel Gonzalez to the mound on Monday night as they take on the Rangers for a three-game set in Texas.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Britton Solid As O's Top Tigers

Zach Britton went seven scoreless innings and the O's toppled the Tigers 3-2 on Saturday night.

Britton (2-1) allowed just six hits and three walks, striking out five in his best outing of the season. Pedro Strop allowed two runs in the eighth but Jim Johnson shut the door and picked up his 36th save of the season. The O's improved to 50-0 when leading after seven innings...amazing.

Chris Davis provided all the offense with a three-run shot in the seventh inning, his 19th of the season.

With the win, the O's (65-55) took sole possession of the second Wild Card spot...Detroit is just one game behind them. The Birds look to take the series on Sunday afternoon; Wei-Yin Chen takes the mound.

Heartbreak In Detroit

A usually solid bullpen gave up two runs in the eighth and the Birds fell to the Tigers 5-3 on Friday night in Detroit.

Tommy Hunter matched Justin Verlander for six innings...Hunter left with the game knotted at three. Hunter allowed just four hits, but two of them were homers. J.C. Romero gave up a two-run bomb in the bottom of the eighth to break the tie and give the Tigers the lead.

It was a horrific game for the umpires...Nick Markakis was called out at the plate in the first inning, though multiple replays showed he was safe. Then in the fifth, the umps reversed a call at first base, initially calling Jhonny Peralta out then saying he was safe. Mark Reynolds was ejected after spiking his glove in frustration, and Buck Showalter was tossed after arguing about the call. Just another day in MLB, and yet another reason for instant replay in baseball.

Nick Markakis went 2-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI, and Matt Wieters launched a two-run bomb in the fifth, his 17th of the season.

The Birds (64-55) now share the second Wild Card spot with the Tigers (64-55). Zach Britton takes the mound on Saturday night.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tillman, O's Can't Complete The Sweep

The Birds had a chance to sweep Boston, but fell 6-3 on Thursday night at Camden Yards, ending the 10-game homestand with an impressive 7-3 record.

Chris Tillman wasn't sharp, and allowed three runs on six hits and two walks in just 4 2/3 innings, striking out five. Luis Ayala (4-4) took the loss after allowing three runs to cross in the sixth inning.

Adam Jones put the Birds on the board early with a two-run double in the first, and Mark Reynolds went deep for the fourth time in three games in the second to put the O's up 3-1. But that was all the offense the Orioles could muster, and Tillman and the 'pen were unable to hold the Sox in check.

Still, the Birds put together a great series, sweeping Seattle, splitting against Kansas City and taking 2-of-3 against Boston. The O's (64-54) are still in contention, tied with Tampa Bay for the Wild Card lead. Tommy Hunter takes the mound Friday night as the O's face-off against the Tigers in Detroit.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

No-Hit Through Five, O's Explode in Sixth

Through five innings, it looked like the Red Sox were going to dominate the Orioles in front of 22 thousand fans at Camden Yards. But, for the second time in two nights, the O's rallied and scored five times in the sixth inning, beating Boston 5-3 on Wednesday night.

J.J. Hardy's single in the sixth broke up the no-hitter, and the O's piled it on from there, scoring five runs on five hits, a walk and a throwing error. Matt Wieters ground-rule double put the Birds ahead for good, followed by a two-run double from Mark Reynolds. Reynolds now has six RBIs in the past two games...

Miguel Gonzalez continued to impress, allowing just two runs on six hits and a walk over six solid innings, striking out two. Gonzalez (5-2) mentioned after the game that he brought a little extra motivation facing his former team...the Sox released him before the season started.

The 'pen was lights out yet again, with Jim Johnson collecting his 35th save of the year after a 1-2-3 ninth. The Orioles (64-53) have a chance to sweep the Sox and go 8-2 on the homestand with a win tonight. The Birds are now in sole possession of the first Wild Card spot in the AL. Chris Tillman takes the mound tonight...Let's Go O's!

O's Roll Over Boston

It was a tight game before the O's blew it open with a five-run sixth, spanking the Boston Red Sox 7-1 on Tuesday night at Camden Yards.

Mark Reynolds finally showed signs of life, homering twice and driving in four runs. Omar Quintanilla put the Birds on the board with a solo homer in the third before Reynolds went nuts, bashing a solo shot in the fifth and drilling a three-run bomb in the sixth to cap-off the scoring. Quintanilla now has three long balls since joining the O's, equaling his career total...

Wei-Yin Chen (11-7) was impressive, allowing just one run on nine hits and a walk over six solid innings, fanning four. The bullpen came on and was lights-out, as we've all come to expect at this point of the season...

The O's have now won two straight and have gone 6-2 on the homestand. Miguel Gonzalez takes the mound on Wednesday night.

Monday, August 13, 2012

O's Split Series With KC

Tommy Hunter lasted just five innings but the O's bullpen held the Royals hitless over the final four frames in a 5-3 win on Sunday afternoon.

Manny Machado put the Birds on the board with a two-run shot in the second inning...Machado has now gone deep three times in his first four games as an Oriole. Nick Markakis slapped a solo homer in the fifth to knot the game at three, and Mark Reynolds put the O's ahead to stay with an RBI single in the sixth. Former Oriole Bruce Chen (8-10) took the loss.

Hunter allowed just three runs on eight hits and two walks over his five frames, striking out two and allowing yet another solo home run. The bullpen was fantastic, allowing just one baserunner over the final four innings. Luis Ayala (4-3) took the win and Jim Johnson picked up his 34th save, second-best in the AL.

The Birds are in third in the East but have the second Wild Card spot as of this post. After Monday's off-day, the O's take on Boston for a three-game set. Wei-Yin Chen takes the mound on Tuesday...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

After Long Delay, O's Fall To Royals

The O's endured a rain delay that lasted over three hours before falling to Kansas City 7-3 on Saturday night at Camden Yards.

Chris Tillman was tagged for six runs on six hits (three homers) and two walks, fanning five. Miguel Socolovich came on in relief and served up a solo homer to a suddenly power-hitting Royals club.

Down 7-0, the O's made it a game with a three-run seventh, but the rally was cut short after Adam Jones grounded out with runners on second and third.

The Birds have now dropped two of three to Kansas City, the worst team in the AL. They need to win on Sunday afternoon to split the series and stay in the running, as the loss dropped them to third in the East and into third in the Wild Card race. Tommy Hunter takes the mound and will face ex-Oriole Bruce Chen.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Machado Homers Twice As O's Roll Over Royals

The kid might be here to stay...Manny Machado homered twice and drove in four runs as the O's crushed Kansas City 7-1 on Friday night at Camden Yards.

In just his second Major League game, Machado connected for a solo shot in the fifth before launching a three-run bomb in the sixth. The same fan caught both balls, and traded them for some signed memorabilia after the game.

Equally impressive was starter Miguel Gonzalez, who pitched eight innings of one-run ball. Gonzalez (4-2) allowed just six hits (one a solo homer) and a walk while fanning five in the longest outing of his career.

The O's (61-52) are now tied with Detroit for the Wild Card lead and trail the Yankees by 5 1/2 games in the East. Chris Tillman takes the mound on Saturday night.

Chen Roughed Up As O's Fall To Royals

Wei-Yin Chen got hit hard early and the O's never recovered in an 8-2 loss to the visiting Royals on Thursday night.

Chen (10-7) gave up four runs on four hits in the first inning and never really found his groove. His night was finished after just 4 2/3 innings, and he was charged with seven runs on nine hits and a walk.

Manny Machado made his long-awaited debut as an Oriole and went 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored.

The O's win streak was snapped at five games...they have yet to win six straight this season. The two clubs go at it again on Friday night, with Miguel Gonzalez slated to pitch for the Birds.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Johnson Shines As O's Sweep M's

The Birds swept Seattle out of town after a decisive 9-2 victory on Wednesday night at Camden Yards.

Steve Johnson received plenty of run support in his starting debut, as the Birds went ahead 7-0 after four innings. Johnson (1-0) went six innings, allowing just two runs on five hits and two walks, striking out nine.

Matt Wieters went 2-for-5 and tied his career-best with five RBIs. Nick Markakis tripled and homered, and Adam Jones went 3-for-4 with two doubles.

The Birds have now won five straight for the fifth time this season...they have yet to reach six straight. Wei-Yin Chen looks to give the O's a new season-best mark on Thursday night.

Birds Walk Off With Win In 14th

The O's won their 12th straight extra-inning affair after Adam Jones' bases-loaded single in the 14th inning gave the Birds an 8-7 walk-off win on Tuesday night at Camden Yards.

Zach Britton struggled early, allowing five runs in the first and another pair in the second. Britton lasted five innings, allowing seven runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks, fanning six. Britton was the main question mark of this current rotation, and was optioned to Norfolk following the game...

The Birds battled back from two separate five-run deficits, scoring four runs in the seventh to knot the game at 7-7. Matt Wieters launched two solo homers and J.J. Hardy's three-run blast in the seventh was the big blow of the game. Nick Markakis went 4-for-7 with an RBI.

The O's go for the sweep on Wednesday night...Steve Johnson was called up from Triple-A and will make his first Major League start for the O's.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tillman Stifles Mariners Yet Again

Chris Tillman should pretend he's facing the Seattle Mariners every time he takes the mound. Tillman pitched into the eighth inning in the O's 3-1 win over the M's on Monday night at Camden Yards.

Tillman (5-1) has been pretty consistent since being called up right before the All-Star break, with a decision in each of his six starts. He went 7 1/3 innings Monday, allowing just a run on five hits and a walk, fanning five. He pitched into the 9th his first outing against Seattle in early July...he seems to bring a little extra in his starts against his former club. In three career starts against Seattle he is now 3-0 with a 0.83 ERA.

The Birds scored all three of their runs in the second inning...Mark Reynolds slapped an RBI double and Nick Markakis drove him home with his 11th long ball of the season.

The Birds have now won three straight and have given up just three runs over the last four games. Zach Britton, the question mark in this current rotation, looks to continue that trend on Tuesday night.

Monday, August 6, 2012

O's Topple Tampa In Ten

As soon as the game went into extras, I had a good feeling the O's would pull it off...and they didn't disappoint. The Birds scored in the top of the 10th and went on to beat the Rays 1-0 on Sunday afternoon.

The Orioles have now won 11 straight extra-inning games, a franchise record. The club is 11-2 in extras after dropping the first two against the Yankees in early April.

Taylor Teagarden was the hero on Sunday, driving home Mark Reynolds with a two-out, full-count double in the tenth. It was just the third hit of the season for Teagarden, but two of those hits have been game-winners in extra innings...

Miguel Gonzalez matched Rays' ace David Price efforts, as both pitchers took shutouts into the later innings. Gonzalez went seven strong, allowing just two hits and four walks while fanning four. The 'pen limited Tampa to just two baserunners over the final three frames...Luis Ayala (3-3) picked up the win and Jim Johnson earned his 32nd save after a 1-2-3 tenth.

The O's certainly impressed over this six-game road trip, taking 2-of-3 in New York and then again against Tampa. The Birds are once again in sole possession of second place in the East and are just a game out of the Wild Card. They start a ten-game homestand tonight, with three games against Seattle up first. Chris Tillman looks to pick up his fifth win of the season.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Chen Does It Again

Wei-Yin Chen blanked the Rays en route to his tenth win of the season, and the Birds evened-up the series with a 4-0 win over Tampa on Saturday night.

Chen (10-6) allowed just five hits and a walk while fanning four over seven shut-out innings. He's the first Oriole to hit double digits in W's this season, and only the second Taiwanese-born player to accomplish the feat.

The Birds finally broke out of their slump, going 5-for-9 with runners in scoring position. All four runs came with two outs.

The O's and Rays are both 56-51 and tied for second place in the East. The two clubs go at it again on Sunday afternoon, with Miguel Gonzalez taking the mound for the Birds.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

O's Blanked In St. Pete

Tommy Hunter pitched a pretty good game, but the O's offensive woes continued in a 2-0 loss to the Rays on Friday night.

Hunter went 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk while fanning three. Unfortunately, two of those hits went over the fence, as Hunter now leads the Majors with 26 dingers allowed this season.

The O's had men on base throughout the game but never got that one clutch hit when it mattered...the Birds loaded the bases in the very first inning but Mark Reynolds struck out to end the early threat. Overall, Baltimore outhit Tampa Bay 8-6, but the O's went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base.

With the loss, the Birds fell to third place in the East, as the Rays picked up a full game on the O's and moved into sole possession of second. Wei-Yin Chen looks to put the Orioles back into the win column on Saturday night.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Birds Blown Away In Series Finale

It just wasn't meant to be, I guess. The O's had a chance to sweep a three-game series in New York for the first time since 1986, but were pummeled by the Yankees 12-3 on Wednesday afternoon.

Zach Britton looked awful early, and was tagged for seven runs on seven hits and four walks in just 2 2/3 innings. Kevin Gregg came on in relief and gave up a grand slam. Things got a little crazy, to say the least.

The Birds actually managed to churn out 13 hits, but just four went for extra bases. The stat that hurts the most: the O's went 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position, stranding 11 men on base. J.J. Hardy went deep in the seventh inning, but it was way too little, too late.

The O's win streak was snapped at three and the club now has Thursday off before starting a three-game set  against the Rays over the weekend.  The Birds (55-50) are now 6 1/2 games behind the Yankees but as of this post are 1/2 a game in front of Tampa Bay.

Seven-Run Second Inning Sinks Yankees

After the Yankees scored five runs in the first inning, things looked bleak for the Birds. But the O's answered with a seven-run second inning and went on to beat New York 11-5 on Tuesday night.

Chris Tillman settled down after a horrific start and lasted five innings, giving up the five runs (four earned) on  eight hits, walking none while fanning three. Tillman (4-1) has now won three straight games, and he almost didn't make it out of the first inning...

After falling behind, the Birds came out swinging in the second inning, and scored all seven runs with two outs. It was simply incredible to watch, and it took the wind right out of New York's sails. The stadium had erupted in the first inning, but the murmurs and boos were audible as the O's took control of the game one inning later. The Birds took the lead for good after Chris Davis launched his first career grand slam to cap-off the second inning. The O's continued to tack-on runs, with Nick Markakis' two-run blast in the eighth ending the scoring parade.

The Birds go for the three-game sweep on Wednesday afternoon...the club hasn't swept New York in the Bronx since 1986. It's long overdue...Zach Britton will take the mound.