Posts Tagged ‘AL East

02
May
10

Orioles Sweep Red Sox; Win First Series of Season

By Ben Linton

It took a while for the Orioles to win their first series of 2010, but it was well worth the wait. The O’s completed a sweep of the Boston Red Sox and sent the numerous Sox fans at Camden Yards home dissapointed with a 3-2 win in extra innings today.

In Game 1 of the series, the Orioles outlasted the Red Sox in extra innings, winning 5-4 in the 10th on a single by Miguel Tejada. Matt Albers was granted the win and Tejada was the MVP, going 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs and his fourth of the season. It was the kind of game the O’s were used to playing, but also used to losing. It was a good way to steal momentum early to start the season.

Game 2 was highlighted by the debut of Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, but the Orioles rained hits (12) and home runs (5) all over that parade, winning 12-9. Even though he gave up 4 runs in 5 innings, Brad Bergesen was granted the win. Ty Wigginton led the offense with 2 home runs; Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis, and Luke Scott all homered as well.

With the series already clinched, it was time for the Orioles to cap off a great weekend with a series sweep of the rival Red Sox. With the score 2-2 in the bottom of the 8th, the Orioles loaded the bases with only one out, but were unable to score when both Luke Scott and Nolan Reimold struck out. Once again the game was headed to extra innings, and the lucky 10th seemed to be true once again. With Nick Markakis on second base, Ty Wigginton ripped a shot into the gap, winning the game and clinching a series sweep. The Orioles won 3-2.

I cannot begin to talk about this series without mentioning Ty Wigginton and his amazing start to this season. So far Wigginton has been the best player on the Orioles, leading the team in batting average (.329), home runs (8), and RBIs (15). In the series vs. Boston, he went 3 for 8 with 2 home runs and 3 RBIs. He has been playing all across the infield and second and first base, contributing in any way possible.

With this sweep the Orioles improve to 7-18, still trailing the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays by 11 games. But to look on the bright side, the Orioles gain a much needed momentum boost by not only winning the series, but sweeping it. They gained confidence that they can play with the cream of the crop in the MLB, and that they can win those close games that eluded them so much in the early season. The O’s will need to keep this train rolling, as they head into New York to take on the Yankees for three games next.

12
Apr
10

Could it get any worse?

By Ben Linton

Opening weekend in the Major League Baseball season is one of the most exciting things in all of sports. Regardless of the team’s prospective outlook on the season, fans still flock to the nearest ballpark to root on their team. The energy and atmosphere of the first home game of the season is like non-other and can be very spectacular and breathtaking.

However, opening weekend for the Baltimore Orioles was far from spectacular or breathtaking. In fact, it was bitter and heartbreaking. The Orioles only won one out of six contests, and in all of their five losses were holding the lead at some point. Two games were blown in the last inning, and today’s contest was lost in the eigth.

In the final game of the series against the Tornto Blue Jays, a team predicted to finish last in the AL East, the Orioles held a 2-1 lead heading into the top of the eighth. Kevin Milwood had thus far pitched a gem, only throwing 60 pitches. Milwood was able to get the first two batters out, but John McDonald reached on a error by Miguel Tejada to keep the inning alive. It seemed to be all that the Jays needed, as Jose Bautista hit a home run immediately after to give Toronto a 3-2 lead. Then to make matters worse, Alex Gonzalez hit his second home run of the day to put the Blue Jays in a comfortable lead at 4-2. The Orioles were unable to rally back and were swept by the Blue Jays for the first time since 2004.

I don’t know if things can get any worse for the Orioles right now. The only bright side is that they don’t look overmatched; they are just not making critical plays to win games and seal the deal down the stretch. The Orioles have allowed runs in the eighth or ninth inning of every game, and 11 of the 27 runs they’ve yielded overall have come in the final two innings. The O’s have also left numerous runners stranded on the basepaths like today when Adam Jones hit a triple with no outs but was unable to be driven home. It will be a crucial gut check time when the Tampa Bay Rays come to town for another series.

09
Apr
10

Os Win First Game of 2010 Season

Garrett Atkins Two-RBI single

By Ben Linton

To leave from Tampa Bay with three big, heartbreaking losses would be a tough way for the Orioles to start off the young 2010 season. Good thing they took care of business last night and won their first game, beating the Rays 5-4. With the win, the Orioles avoid a sweep and take one of three games from the Rays. All three games in the series were close, with the Orioles leading in all three games at one point.

Trailing 2-1, the Orioles used a four-run 6th inning to propel them to a three run cushion, which was enough this time around. Matt Wieters singled to score Nick Markakis, Miguel Tejada scored on a wild pitch, and Garrett Atkins hit a two-run single to blow it open for Baltimore. Brian Roberts, Matt Wieters, and Garrett Atkins led the team offensively, going 2-4 respectively. Nolan Reimold went 1 for 4, hitting his first home run of the season in the 3rd inning.

The win was given to the 23-year old Brian Matusz, who in his first start went five innings, giving up only two earned runs on two hits. Matusz also recorded seven strikeouts in the contest. Mike Gonzalez redeemed himself and registered his first save of the season, after blowing it in the first game of the series.

The Orioles take on the Toronto Blue Jays in their home-opener today at 3:15.

07
Apr
10

O’s give it away on opening day

By Ben Linton

In the first game of the MLB season, the Baltimore Orioles suffered a devastating loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Orioles led 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, but a 2-run double by Rays Carl Crawford sealed the game as Tampa prevailed 4-3.

The Orioles got their first run of the season when Adam Jones hit a solo home run in the top of the 3rd. Jones picked up exactly where he left of last year in his all-star campaign, going 3 for 5 on the day. In the following inning, Luke Scott belted another solo homer to put the O’s up 2-0. The Rays would score their first run in the bottom of the 5th, but the following inning the O’s had an answer when Matt Wieters hit another solo shot to put the O’s up 3-1.

Baltimore went to their bullpen in the 6th after Kevin Millwood pitched a very strong first five innings, striking out five and giving up two runs, one on an Evan Longoria home run. With the score 3-2, it was up to the Orioles bullpen to seal the deal. Matt Albers finished out the sixth inning, followed by two hitless innings by Will Ohman and Jim Johnson respectively.

However, the Orioles could not put the Rays away when they had the chance. As a team they were 1-12 with runners in scoring position, and left ten runners stranded. So in the bottom of the ninth, newly acquired closer Mike Gonzalez got his chance to record his first save of the season in the first game. It started off well when Gonzalez struck out Pat Burrell for the first out, but then he gave up a single, double, and an intentional walk to load the bases for Crawford, who drilled a ball down the right field line to bring in two runners, winning the ball game.

This was definitely not a picture-perfect start to the season. It will be interesting to see how the O’s rebound today as the try to get some revenge and even up the series.




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