One of, if not the strongest points of the 2013 Baltimore Orioles has been its’ bullpen, but courtesy of an Adam Eaton walkoff home run in the ninth, the Birds lost the series opener 7-6 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Orioles bullpen blew a Baltimore lead and allowed the go ahead run to score twice.
It was an unusual night for the O’s, as almost every guy in their bullpen struggled, which has not been the case whatsoever for most of this season. The bullpen either blew a lead or gave up the go ahead run in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings of last night’s game. Every Baltimore reliever allowed at least one run in the game.
Baltimore led 4-2 entering the bottom of the seventh, but Brian Matusz and Tommy Hunter combined to give up three runs, which included a three singles, a walk and a hit by pitch that gave Arizona a 5-4 lead heading into the eighth inning.
The Orioles offense tied the game in the top of the eighth courtesy of Crush Davis’s MLB leading 43rdhome run of the season, but the bullpen faltered once again. Troy Patton came in relief of Hunter to finish the seventh, and came back out for the eighth, but on a 1-2 count to the first batter in the eighth, Arizona re-took the lead 6-5 thanks to a solo homer.
Once again however, the Orioles offense continued to fight and managed to tie the game in the top of the ninth courtesy of a Nick Markakis sac fly, but it was just not the bullpen’s night as Mr. Consistency Darren O’Day allowed a walkoff home run on the very first pitch he threw in the ninth inning to finish off a crazy game, both on the scoreboard and in the minds of Orioles players and fans.
Orioles starter, Scott Feldman (2-3) had a pretty decent outing considering he could not command his fastball most of the night, but just like Bud Norris yesterday, he battled and kept his team not only in the game, but in the lead. He finished the night tossing 5 1/3 innings, while allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits, two walks and eight strikeouts.
Baltimore’s offense had a good showing last night putting up six runs on ten hits, including Chris Davis’s 43rdhomer, as well as Matt Wieters 16thof the season. Brian Roberts had the only multi-hit game for the Birds as he went 2-3 with a double and two RBI.
It was not the best night for a loss, as Baltimore lost ground in every playoff race. Both the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays had off days, while the two top AL West teams each won their contest. The O’s will return to action tonight and try to even the series as they send Miguel Gonzalez (8-5) to the mound for the start.
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