The Baltimore Orioles continue to amaze, and they emerged victorious against the Washington Nationals, 2-1, in eleven innings on Friday night.
With the game tied at one, Nick Markakis’ solo homer in the 11th inning off reliever Ryan Mattheus made the difference for the Birds.
They are now 26-14 and lead the American League East by two full games. Kevin Gregg earned win by pitching a scoreless 10th inning, and Pedro Strop earned the save, his third of the season.
The Orioles could found themselves losing to the Nationals in the final innings; however, impressive double plays in 10 and 11th, helped greatly – especially Chris Davis starting an impressive 3-6-3 double in the deciding frame.
If fans expected a pitching duel, they got one on Friday night as Washington’s Jake Arrieta and Baltimore’s Jake Arrieta put on a show.
Baltimore scored their first run of the game off Washington starter Edwin Jackson off an Adam Jones RBI-infield single – which went off the mound and Jackson’s foot – that plated Xavier Avery.
However, after that, Jackson dominated the Orioles. He went eight innings and allowed only a run.
For Baltimore, Jake Arrieta was straight up dealing as well, going seven innings and too only allowing a run. He struck out nine, and looked flat-out like an ace.
His only mistake came in the sixth inning as he gave up a home run to Ian Desmond. It was the sixth of the season.
He looked much better on Friday night than in his previous outing. Arrieta kept his team in the game, and the bullpen – Darren O’Day, Troy Patton, Gregg and Strop – handled the rest like they pretty much have the entire season.
The Orioles once again played an extra-inning game, and came back. They have won four in a row, and eight straight road games. I don’t know how much longer the winning can be sustained, but the Orioles – much like in the days of Earl Weaver – are relying on pitching, defense, and the homer (ok, not the three-run).
Adam Jones has a ten-game hit streak, Xavier Avery continues to impress – he had two hits, and Nick Markakis has continued his strong week with two more hits.
I went out to the game in Washington, and their park was pretty much filled with a bi-partisan crowd. It seemed everywhere I went, there were Oriole fans everywhere with black and orange on.
They are winning the close games and getting the clutch hits. Watching the Orioles so far has been a joy; let’s hope the good times continue to roll.