After losing the first 2 games of the series against the scorching-hot A’s, the Orioles, behind Wei-Yin Chen, were able to win the last game of the series 6 to 1. Chen pitched 5.2 innings and struck out 12. With the win, Chen improves to 9-6 on the year.
To recap the series the Orioles started the series against Oakland on Friday night, where Zach Britton faced off against A’s rookie right-hander Jarrod Parker. This game went back-and-forth, with the A’s getting off to a 5-0 lead by the 2nd inning. However, the O’s rallied back with a homerun by Chris Davis in the 2nd inning and a homerun by Adam Jones in the 5th inning. Jones homerun put the O’s up 6-5. In the 6th inning the A’s pinch hit Seth Smith for Johnny Gomes and Smith hit a base-clearing double to put the Athletics up 8-6. However, the O’s battled back in the 8th inning and eventually took the lead 9-8. The A’s came up in the 9th against O’s closer Jim Johnson, who has pitched extremely solid this season, and scored six runs off of him. The O’s fell 14-9.
In the second game of the series, Tommy Hunter squared off against Bartolo Colon. The game was kept scoreless until the 4th inning, when smoking-hot A’s OF Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run homerun off of Hunter. Hunter, who has been plagued by the long-ball all year, gave up another homerun to A’s 1B Chris Carter in the 6th. The O’s lone run came in the 9th inning when Nick Markakis homered.
Thankfully for the Orioles, Chen was able to put together a great outing today and Matt Wieters finally showed some sign of life with a three-run homerun in the 3rd inning off of A’s success-story Travis Blackley. Recently-acquired Omar Quintanilla also homered for the O’s.
(Another note from the today’s game is that the Orioles started OF Lew Ford in left-field today and he batted 5th. Ford hasn’t played in the big leagues since 2007, when he was a member of the Minnesota Twins. It’s great to see Ford make it all the way back to “The Show”.)
However, the two losses against Oakland did hurt the O’s in the Wild Card Standings. They are still 2.5 games back of Oakland and Anaheim.
The Orioles have some very crucial games in the upcoming week. If the O’s want to stay at the top of the playoff hunt they must win both series against the Yankees and the Rays.
The next week could really determine whether the O’s stay in the playoff hunt or return to their former ways of being at the bottom of the cellar in the AL East.