After the magic of Thursday night at Camden Yards where the Orioles engineered an incredible win, the two teams met again on Friday. The atmosphere was not nearly as festive as it was on Thursday; however, there was still buzz in the air as the Orioles faced their notorious rival for the second in a four game series.
However, the Orioles could not pull off a miracle as the experienced New Yorkers took advantage of a off-his-game Wei Yin Chen, 8-5.
Chen was rolling in the first third of the game; however, the Yankees used the longball in the fourth inning to plate five runs thanks to homers by Russell Martin and Steve Pearce and scored three more times in the fifth as former Oriole Alex Rodriguez went deep.
Chen kind of started the fire that led to New York’s onslaught in the fourth inning. He led off the frame hitting a batter, and then walking another before Martin’s blast.
He – nor any of the Oriole pitchers – can make those types of mistakes against any team. Especially the Yankees.
Despite the loss, the Birds had some highlights, as they too used the longball, as Adam Jones, Robert Andino and Manny Machado all homered. In the end, the homers didn’t propel the Orioles to another victory; however, they showed that have grit and always fight hard.
That was something missing from the Orioles in the past. The Yankees – and the rest of baseball – know that the Birds are no longer pushovers and are really in it.
You also can’t forget the play of Nate McLouth on Friday. As we all know, he’d struggled to stay in the league for the past few years; however, in Baltimore, McLouth has found new life.
He had three hits on the night, but made an impact on the field. In the fourth inning, McLouth nearly saved the Orioles as he seemed to have a play on Martin’s homer; however, it looked like a fan hit him while he attempted to catch the ball.
As soon as McLouth realized that the ball went into the stands, he tried to convince the umpires to initiate a replay; however, it was for naught.
In the ninth inning, he got the Yankees as he robbed Nick Swisher of a two-run homer with a leaping grab.
I don’t know what role McLouth will have on the team next season, but he’s been a life save in left field. The Orioles, as we all know, have made umpteen moves with the roster and McLouth has played a competent and solid left field.
The Orioles are in the playoff hunt to stay. They are looking to be a franchise on the rise, but doing the little things at this point to win will make the difference between them golfing next month or going for it all.
They have a challenge tonight as C.C. Sabathia takes the mound at Camden Yards for the New Yorkers. Meanwhile, Joe Saunders will need to come through with another clutch start and help Baltimore earn another victory and possibly take yet another series on Sunday.