Friday, April 5, 2013

Orioles win home opener behind heroics from Chris Davis

BALTIMORE - After Adam Jones loaded the bases and knocked in Nolan Reimold with an RBI single to tie the game at five-all late in the eighth inning for the Orioles (3-1), the Minnesota Twins (2-2) decided it would be best to make a pitching change.

Photo: Patrick Semansky, AP
They brought in lefty "power pitcher" Tyler Robertson to face Orioles right handed first baseman Chris Davis. Davis, who already had three homers through three games this season, decided to make it four home runs in four games, and give the Orioles a four run lead as he cranked Robertson's first pitch over the left field wall. In the world of baseball, we like to call that going "oppo".

The Orioles would go onto win the game 9-5 and improve their overall record to 3-1, which is first in the AL East thus far in the season. The Twins on the other hand fell to 2-2.

The Orioles started their home opener like most teams would by introducing the staff and players for the season and handing out awards from last year. One thing the Orioles handled differently was the ceremonial first pitch. In honor of the late and legendary manager Earl Weaver, the Orioles would skip the ceremonial first pitch, and just place a ball on the mound in his honor.

On to the game, the Orioles would get off to a slow start but they would get a run across in the third inning when Manny Machado drove in Nate McLouth with an RBI single. McLouth would finish the game going 2 for 5 with a stolen base and two runs scored. Machado finished the day just 1 for 4 with that RBI, but he also helped move some runners over in the 8th inning with a SAC bunt.

Orioles starter Jake Arrieta started the game out well, but ran into some trouble in the fourth inning. After striking out four batters throughout the game he allowed four runs in the fourth inning. Chris Parmelee, Brian Dozier, and Eduardo Escobar all drove in runs off of Arrieta. Dozier finished the game going 2 for 4 with three RBI's and one run scored.

The Orioles would fight back to even the score up in the fourth an fifth innings with two runs scored by Adam Jones and one scored by Nick Markakis. Jones would finish the day 3 for 5 with two RBI's and three runs scored. Markakis went 2 for 4 with two runs scored.

Twins starter Liam Hendricks would be pulled in the fifth inning after allowing four runs and notching just one strikeout though five and two-thirds innings. Jake Arrieta on the other hand would stay in the game for a bit longer, but after allowing two to get on base he was pulled in the 6th inning for Troy Patton. Patton did allow one of his inherited runners to score but then notched two strikeouts through one inning of work.

Luis Ayala would later step in for the Birds and was awarded with the win after pitching one and two-thirds innings, striking out one and allowing just two hits.

After Hendricks was pulled for the Twins they cycled through relievers and settled with Casey Fien pitching in the eighth. He would be given the loss as he allowed the bases loaded when Chris Davis hit a heroic grand slam off of Robertson to give the Orioles the lead. Orioles manager Buck Showalter handed the ball to right-handed reliever Pedro Strop in the 9th inning, a move that some would deem risky with Strop's recent performance, but it would pay off as Strop allowed zero hits and struck out one to close out the win for the Orioles.

Certainly the hero of the game award goes to first basemen Chris Davis. Davis has been on a tear since last season and has hit eleven home runs in his last eleven regular season games, four of those coming in this season. With his grand slam and team-high 5 RBI's today, Davis now leads the major league's in RBI's with 16 total.

It's still very early in the season, but things are looking good right now for the Orioles and baseball's soon-to-be star, Chris Davis.

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  1. Great Work. Orioles should have another great season

    1. Thanks! And yes, I'd like to think so too.