I had to remind myself that the Orioles won last night. It felt a little bit like a loss after the Red Sox scored four runs in the top of the eighth.
Fortunately, there also was a bottom of the eighth.
This was the type of game that normally would have ended in defeat. We’ve lived it too many times over the last 13 seasons. But the Orioles are a feisty bunch, and that’s one of my favorite qualities.
Manager Buck Showalter brought a resume and attitude when he walked through the doors last August. He’ll call out Derek Jeter and Theo Epstein. Deal with it.
Josh Rupe drilled Russell Martin between the numbers. Deal with it.
Robert Andino gave Mark Teixeira an earful at second base. Deal with it.
Luke Scott got under Josh Beckett’s skin. Deal with that, too.
The Orioles lost to the Yankees last Sunday, but they tied the game against future Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera. They blew a four-run lead last night and punished Daniel Bard for it.
Their heads still spinning from Boston’s four-run outburst, they immediately strung together three singles to reclaim the lead. Even a play at the plate that ended with Bard tagging out Nick Markakis didn’t slow them down.
The Red Sox must have thought they wandered into the wrong ballpark. Certainly, their fans can’t seem to find it. Last night’s attendance was 15,514.
A few other observations from last night:
Jeremy Guthrie turned in the rotation’s seventh quality start in eight games on this homestand. The unit has posted a 3.26 ERA.
As I stated before, I had no problem with Jeremy Accardo returning for the eighth inning after throwing all seven of his pitches for strikes in the seventh. It worked the previous night with Jim Johnson. Don’t pass the baton unnecessarily.
It became necessary, of course, when Accardo allowed a single and walked a batter without recording an out. And it grew worse when Clay Rapada, the left-handed specialist, gave up a run-scoring single to Adrian Gonzalez.
In case you didn’t notice, the Orioles have left-handed relief issues. Michael Gonzalez has been bypassed in some key situations since Sunday, and Rapada hasn’t gotten the job done in his last two appearances after striking out three in 1 1/3 innings in his debut.
Kevin Gregg is fine. No reason to boo, no reason to debate whether he should be the closer. He hasn’t allowed a hit in his last four outings, and he’s notched three saves over that period. His ERA is down to 3.00.
If you’re keeping score at home, Showalter has raved about Matt Wieters’ ability to catch foul tips, block the plate, block pitches in the dirt, call pitches and tag out runners. He’s a huge fan.
You might have noticed that Wieters and Brian Roberts batted from the right side against right-hander Tim Wakefield. I’ve seen a few other switch-hitters do the same thing against a knuckleballer. They must think it puts them at more of an advantage, though Wieters struck out and Roberts grounded to short. Wieters is now 0-for-4 against Wakefield, and Roberts is 8-for-44.