Grand Slam Turnaround in Texas

Click here for highlights of last night’s game

By Ben Linton

There must be something about the heat and humidity down in Texas that suddenly energized the otherwise lifeless Baltimore Orioles into beating the Texas Rangers on back-to-back nights trailing 4-0. The Orioles came into the series with the worst record in the MLB, while the Rangers currently held the league’s best record. But so far in the four-games series, the Orioles have taken the first two in remarkable fashion.

Thursday night, the Orioles trailed early, down 4-0 after three innings and seemed on their way to another blowout loss. But the Orioles battled back and rallied, getting two home runs from Scott Moore and Felix Pie respectively, and scoring three runs in the top of the 8th inning to take the lead for good and emerge victorious with a score of 6-4.

Last night may have been the best game the Orioles have played all season, however few fans may have seen it due to the rain delay that took place, causing the game to start at 10:34 instead of the 8:05 expected time. I was lucky enough to be one of those fans that stayed up late to watch it and was not disappointed. Once again, the Orioles trailed 4-0 again after the third inning, but came back with runs in the fourth and fifth to keep it close at 4-2. Then the Rangers got the insurance runs they needed in the 8th inning as they pushed the lead to 6-2. Then All-Star rookie closer Neftali Feliz went on to put the Orioles away.

After a few singles, a walk, a fielder’s choice, and a ground out, the Orioles had loaded the bases with two outs and Corey Patterson up to the plate. After two balls and three fouled off pitches, Patterson finally connected on a 2-2 fastball and sent it flying into the upper deck for his first career grand slam. The Orioles had sent the game into extra innings. In the top of the 10th, Jake Fox belted a home run off of Rangers reliever Dustin Nippert, which sealed the deal for the Orioles as they had completed another comeback victory at the expense of the Texas Rangers.

The only thing I have to ask is where did this come from? All of a sudden the Baltimore Orioles are playing really quality baseball against good competition. Heading into last night, the Orioles were 0-51 when trailing heading into the ninth inning. But there’s a first time for everything, and there was no better time than last night. The Orioles also lead the league in most three or more run comeback wins with 11. An interesting stat for a team in last place, but I guess when you trail that often its bound to happen. I applaud the Orioles for their perseverance and gritty play these past few games, hopefully they can keep it up.

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July 2010
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