The Orioles has a very good weekend on the field, taking two of three from the Detroit Tigers in dramatic fashion.
They took on another favored World Series contender and held their own.
As the Tigers have learned, any lead you build up against the Orioles isn’t safe. On Sunday, the Birds came back from behind, using a three-run seventh inning to erase a 2-0 deficit and defeated the Tigers, 4-2.
Baltimore earned their 32nd win of the season and Chris Davis hit his league leading 20th home run in the seventh inning that started a furious rally. Danny Valencia tied the game with a bloop single, and then Nate McLouth plated in a run to give the Orioles their first lead of the afternoon, 3-2.
Alexi Casilla raised the score for the Orioles to 4-2 as he drilled a liner to left, plating in Chris Davis.
Jim Johnson threw a scoreless ninth inning for his 22nd save.
The story of the game on Sunday centered on pitcher Kevin Gausman. After being knocked around a bit in his first two starts, he showed the baseball world his immense potential. He held the Tiger offense – one of the best in the majors – to one run over six innings.
He was able to neutralize Miguel Cabrera in three at-bats (all grounders) and looked like a big league pitcher out there. Gausman didn’t seem to get frazzled, and only allowed five hits, struck out four and walked no one. He had command of his pitches, and used his changeup to disrupt the timing of the Detroit hitters.
Whether or not Gausman can be consistent from start to start, who knows; however, if he pitches much like did Sunday during 2013 for Baltimore, the youngster will probably end up as one of the best arms on the staff before the season is out.
On Saturday, Baltimore lost 10-3 to Detroit.
J.J. Hardy did hit two homeruns that day, but there was nothing else to see. The good Jason Hammel that pitched very well in Washington was replaced with the bad one that we’ve seen again and again throughout 2013.
He was just plain terrible and lasted only three innings, giving up five runs in that span. The tall righty gave up three consecutive homeruns in a disastrous fourth inning and then hit Matt Tuiasosopo with a pitch – an 80+ mph slider – that was near his head.
Whether the pitch was intentional or not -- Hunter Wendelstedt, the home plate umpire, ejected Hammel within seconds.
Hammel could have pleaded all he wanted, but when you give up three home runs in a frame and then have a pitch sail towards the head towards the following batter, you deserve to be thrown out.
I have no issue with what Wendelstedt did.
T.J. McFarland came in and added fuel to the fire, giving up a grand slam home run to Miguel Cabrera capping off an eight-run fourth inning.
Aside from that, the Orioles didn’t play all that terrible; however, Justin Verlander did what he was paid to do – win for Detroit on the mound.
He gave up three runs in seven innings and earned his seventh win.
After a successful weekend, the Orioles head out on the road and face the Houston Astros.
I still find it weird to see the Astros in the American League…