The Orioles faced the Oakland Athletics for the first time this season over the weekend to finish up their 10 game home stand. The series got off to a rocky start due to the opening game being rained out, making Saturday a double header.
Game One: Athletics: 8, Orioles: 4
Game one of the double header will be an easy one to forget. Mike Wright got the start and did not seem to figure it out at all during the game. Wright went five innings on the day allowing five earned runs on 10 hits while striking out only three and walking two.
On the flip side of that, Rich Hill went 5 2/3 innings allowing one run on two hits while striking out five and walking three. Once again, the Orioles could not seem to figure out how to hit against a junk ball pitcher.
The Orioles first run came in the bottom of the sixth on an Adam Jones ground ball to the third baseman Danny Valencia. The O’s were able to tack on three more runs in the bottom of the ninth with a Joey Rickard infield single and a Pedro Alvarez two run double.
Game Two: Orioles: 5, Athletics: 2
The second game of the double header was a much better one for the boys in black and orange. Ubaldo Jimenez got the start for the Orioles and he pitched exceptionally well going eight innings allowing two runs on nine hits while striking out six and walking only one.
This might have been the best case scenario for the Orioles today: have your game two starter go eight innings to allow your bullpen to not be used as much as it possibly could have.
As for the scoring, that got started in the bottom of the third with a Hyun Soo Kim RBI ground out to score Caleb Joseph. Later in the inning, Adam Jones got a base hit that brought around Manny Machado. That was immediately followed by a Chris Davis two run home run, making it 4-0 at the time.
The Orioles added on a run in the bottom of the fourth with Caleb Joseph hitting into a double play but allowing Jonathan Schoop to score on the play.
Game Three: Orioles: 11, Athletics: 3
Easily one of the more fun games of the season, it did not start out that way for the Orioles and starter Chris Tillman. In the first inning, the A’s tacked on three runs with singles by Josh Reddick and Danny Valencia. Yonder Alonso got an RBI double that drove in one more run which could have been two if it weren’t for Manny Machado throwing out Valencia at home.
The Orioles answered right back and did not go quietly at all the rest of the game. It started in the bottom of the first with a Manny Machado two run home run, scoring Joey Rickard as well. That was followed in the bottom of the second inning with Pedro Alvarez visiting Eutaw Street for the first time this season and the next batter up, Jonathan Schoop, getting a home run for himself to make it 4-3 at the time.
In the bottom of the third, Mark Trumbo joined the party with a two run home run making it 6-3. In the next inning, Joey Rickard got one as well to make it 7-3. This was all topped out by a grand slam from Manny Machado in the bottom of the eighth to make it 11-3.
As for the Orioles pitching, Chris Tillman pitched really well following his first inning troubles. Tillman went 6 1/3 innings on the day allowing three runs on six hits while striking out seven but walking four hitters. He was relieved in the top of the seventh by Brad Brach who pitched the eighth as well and Vance Worley who got an inning of work with the club leading by eight runs.
The Orioles will now go on a short road trip to Minnesota to take on the Twins for three games before returning home for a seven game home stand where they will face the Detroit Tigers and the surprising first place Seattle Mariners.
Tyler Wilson will open up the series against the 8-23 Twins matching up against Jose Berrios followed by Kevin Gausman and Phil Hughes going in game two with Ricky Nolasco closing out the series for the Twins with the Orioles starter to be announced.