Home Run Derby up North, O’s Win; Reynolds

Ah, there’s nothing like a good ‘ol slugfest.

After being swept by the Yankees this week, the Orioles turned it on last night at the plate and beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-5, to start their three game series. There were seven home runs in the game on Friday night, but Baltimore’s offense turned it on late and the bullpen closed it out.

The Jays have owned the Orioles over the years, but on Friday that was not the case. It’s a nice way to start off a road trip that looks to be very tough on paper.

Both the Orioles and Blue Jays traded the lead a few times and were deadlocked until the eighth inning. Wilson Betemit came through a key moment, as his two-run single put Baltimore, up 6-5, and Nolan Remiold’s solo homer in the ninth inning – his first on the season – gave his team a comfortable cushion.

Closer Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save on the season. Darren O’Day earned the win relief, pitching a perfect frame in the seventh and giving Baltimore a chance to come back.

Adam Jones – who drove in two runs – and Robert Andino also homered. Jones and Reimold had three hits.

Tommy Hunter – who started the game for Baltimore – labored through his outing as he went six innings on the night. Hunter gave up five runs – four earned – including four home runs. He certainly did not have the stuff he had in his season debut, but he did enough to keep his team amazingly in the game.

For Toronto, Darren Oliver took the loss. Brandon Morrow, who started the game for the Jays, went seven innings and gave up four runs.

It was good to see the Orioles pull one and get some key hits in the clutch. They are now 4-3 on the season.

Well, it will be interesting to see what happens with Mark Reynolds from here. As potent as Reynolds’ bat can be, his glove work at third leaves nothing to be desired. Reynolds perhaps cost the Orioles a win in the Yankees’ series, and it seems whatever he does with the bat is mitigated by his shoddy work at the hot corner.

Reynolds is what he is – an all or nothing slugger whose bat helps out the Orioles. His fielding has always been suspect and that has been only amplified in Baltimore.

That being said (according to media reports), manager Buck Showalter wants him to take some reps at first. He also served as the designated hitter last night. The fact is that Reynolds is too shaky at third, and the Orioles have very little margin of error when it comes to winning or losing, so the team has to do what it needs to do.

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