What a week for the Orioles. After their come-back-from-behind victory on Wednesday, I didn’t think much else could have topped what I saw then.
Well, what happened at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Friday may have topped that. As you all probably know by now, the Orioles pulled an amazing win, defeating the Detroit Tigers, 7-5, in the first contest in a three game series.
With Baltimore down by three, 6-3, in the ninth, Detroit brought in Jose Valverde to close out the game. He was basically unemployed at the start of the season; however, Detroit brought him back – because they had no one else really to close out games!
Anyhow, if there was a closer the Orioles could come back against, it was Valverde.
Then it happened.
Nick Markakis led off the frame with a home run, and then Adam Jones along with Chris Davis followed up with back-to-back singles. The Tigers got two outs thanks to horrible at-bats by Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy; however, the next batter, Chris Dickerson decided to end things with one swing of the bat.
He took a Valverde offering and deposited it into right centerfield, ending the game. The sold out crowd of 46,249 who stayed until the end were in frenzy, and it felt like the Orioles had won a playoff game or something. It felt like a rock concert and you were surrounded by thousands of your best friends dressed in orange and black.
Most of the fans didn’t leave the stadium after the Orioles secured their 31st win of the season – at least until they saw Dickerson pied the face with shaving cream by Jones and Alexi Casilla.
Everyone stayed on the feet from the Markakis homer until the very end. It was quite a sight to see and just amazing how the community has responded to the Orioles finally becoming a winning organization.
Opposing teams have to know by now that no lead they build by now is safe with the Orioles, and that they will fight for all 27 outs.
It sounds cliché and hokey, but they have been doing it time and time again this season.
The funny thing is before the Baltimore rally in the ninth inning, they had only mustered three hits all night and Max Scherzer – who started for Detroit – dominated for the final five innings of his start. He went eight innings and gave up three runs.
The Tigers should have won this game hands down. The Orioles should have never, ever gotten back into this contest.
That’s the beauty of this sport. Anything can happen, even the implausible.
Miguel Gonzalez started for Baltimore on the mound and he was not very good, giving up five runs in six innings.
Adam Jones had three hits – including a homer in the third inning – and Chris Davis had two.