The Baltimore Orioles began their eleven-game West coast swing and started off on a high note as they defeated the Oakland Athletics, 10-2. The offense was clicking last night as every starter had a hit; Chris Davis hit his eighth homer; both Nate McLouth and Nick Markakis plated in two runs, plus Adam Jones – who is still red hot – had three hits.
Baltimore starting pitcher Jason Hammel was not great but did his job well. He went six innings, gave up two runs on three hits and kept the homer happy Athletics at bay.
The Orioles are now 13-9 and are two games behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East.
Right now, the Birds are flying high and many in the baseball world were not sure how they would follow up on their playoff season. Although the Orioles lost Wednesday’s game in extra innings – their first in a year – they showed again that last year may be no fluke. They play every out and never seem to go away in a contest.
Once again, Baltimore is relying on pitching, clutch hitting, a strong defense and a very stingy bullpen to win. Considering most of the starting pitchers on the roster (aside from Jason Hammel) do not have much of a track record, no one knew what was to be expected.
That is a truly good sign to see. I'm happy now that Dan Duquette and the front office did not spend an insane amount of money to sign a pitcher this offseason.
In addition, Manny Machado is not playing like a 20 year old … but a veteran who has been in the league 10 seasons. I still cannot believe how well last season’s summer call-up has worked for the Orioles.
Adam Jones – despite his defensive gaffes early – is a rock in the middle of the lineup and Davis may hit more than 40 home runs with the rate he is going.
The season is only about four weeks old; however, the Orioles have not missed a beat at all since last year.
If they can keep up their excellent play is anyone’s guess; however, it’s so far, so good for the Orioles.