We saw a lot of good things from our starting pitching with three quality starts and only four earned runs allowed. In game one, Chen took the mound and picked up where he left off after coming back from his injury. Although he allowed 8 hits in just six and a third innings, he only let up one run.
Darren O’Day came in to relieve Chen in the 7th allowing no hits and giving the ball over to Jim Johnson in the 9th with a 3-1 lead. Johnson let up a single to pinch hitter David Murphy to start the inning. But, Jim came back to get the next two batters out and move one out away from the save.
Johnson look in control after going up on Kinsler 1-2 but hit him with a pitch to bring the winning run to the plate. Johnson was able to settle in and get Elvis Andrus to hit into a fielder’s choice to end the game.
Miguel Gonzalez would take the mound in game two verse the Rangers. The offense gave him an early lead scoring seven runs in the first three innings. Miguel was able to feed of the energy and pitch six shut out innings. He would leave the game in the 7th after giving up a run on a sacrifice fly by Ian Kinsler scoring David Murphy.
Tommy Hunter was called from the bullpen and struggled in the 8th. He allowed three runs off of four hits in the inning bringing the score to 7-4. Finally, he got the last out of the inning leaving the game in a save situation for Jim Johnson in the 9th. Johnson shut down the first two batters before giving up two singles and making the game interesting yet again. He was able to record the last out and record another save bringing his season total to 35.
The All-Star, Chris Tillman, started game three for the birds hoping to complete the second sweep of the season for the O’s. Tillman was able to get off to a great start by giving up only one earned run on five hits through eight innings. Buck decided to give Tillman a chance for the complete game and rest Johnson after pitching two days in a row. Adrian Beltre led off the inning with a home run against Tillman ending his night with two earned runs.
With a lefty coming to the plate, Brian Matusz came into the game. He recorded the first out but then walked the next batter. Sticking with the match-ups, O’Day came in to finish the game. He forced a ground out fielder’s choice against Elvis Andrus and struck out Murphy to record the save and the sweep for the O’s.
With all of the great pitching we saw this weekend, what was most impressing to me was the play by Matt Weiters. He started the series with a home run on his first at bat to get the scoring going for the birds. He ended the series 6 for 12 with two RBI and two walks. Defensively he called three great games which is to be expected by Weiters day in and day out.
Hoping to catch up with the Rays and Red Sox, who leading the division, this was just the start the Orioles needed after the All-Star break to make a run for the playoffs. The O’s will travel to Kansas City tomorrow to start a four game series against the Royals. Buckle-Up!