The Baltimore Orioles used a seven run seventh inning to awake from their slumbers and avoid the sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees with a 7-3 victory Sunday afternoon.
Baltimore had reached 18 straight scoreless innings offensively, but finally enough was enough and they ended that streak with a bang. Trailing 3-0 when they entered the top of the seventh, the Orioles had recorded five hits and zero runs in the first six frames and hadn’t scored since the sixth inning of Friday night’s game.
The newly acquired Mike Morse got things started for the Birds in the seventh with a leadoff single and was immediately followed by a Danny Valencia single. Matt Wieters then drove in the Orioles first run with a RBI single to score Morse and cut the deficit to 3-1. JJ Hardy then delivered an ‘Earl Weaver Special’ to right field that just cleared the fence and gave Baltimore a 4-3 lead just like that.
The Orioles were not done yet as Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis reached base courtesy of a single and a walk, and two batters later, Adam Jones smoked a three run shot to centerfield to give the O’s a 7-3 advantage. It was quite an inning for the Orioles, and the seven runs matched a season high for runs in an inning.
Wei-Yin Chen (7-7) was certainly thankful for the offensive outburst as it cleared the way for a no decision on his part after a horrid outing yesterday. It was obvious right out of the gate yesterday that Chen did not have his stuff as the very first batter doubled off of him, but he still found a way to escape the jam despite loading the bases with two walks in the inning.
Chen settled down in the second, but surrendered a run in the third and two in the fourth. The fourth inning proved to be his undoing as he allowed just one hit in the inning, but walked three batters, and allowed two runs, one of which came from walking in a runner.
After coming off of a 3 2/3 inning performance in his last start, Chen did not fare much better yesterday lasting just four innings, while allowing three runs on four hits and five walks.
Kevin Gausman (2-3) came in and tossed two scoreless innings in relief and became the beneficiary of the seven run outburst by the Orioles to pick up his second career victory. Francisco Rodriguez, Tommy Hunter and Darren O’Day also tossed a scoreless inning each to cap off a five inning, scoreless showing by the bullpen.
It was a big victory for the Birds as it avoided a sweep at the hands of the Yankees and kept the Birds in the playoff race. Baltimore will now head to Cleveland for the final three games of their road trip and will send Bud Norris (9-10) to the mound for the start against the Indians ace Justin Masterson (14-9).
First pitch of today’s game is scheduled for 4:05 pm and Baltimore and Cleveland are separated by just a half game in the wildcard standings.
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