Orioles manager Buck Showalter came out of the dugout in the sixth inning to protect Nick Markakis, who argued a strike call, and ended up getting tossed for the first time this season and the 20th in his career.
Bench coach John Russell has taken over the managerial duties. Showalter isn’t far away. He’s just not in disguise.
Showalter needed to vent. He’s been upset with the strike zone at various times during this entire road trip, and especially in this series.
He mentioned last night how it was “generous,” and how Angels starter Jered Weaver took advantage of it and Jake Arrieta needed to do the same.
Today, plate umpire Angel Campos called a strike on Markakis on a pitch off the plate. It was outside. It should have been a ball.
Markakis has one of the better eyes in baseball. If he argues a call, he’s usually right. Showalter made that point to an umpire earlier this season after Markakis lost his temper.
Anyway, Showalter is gone, the Orioles are down 1-0 and they’re down to their last nine outs.
Update: Wei-Yin Chen broke through that sixth-inning wall today. He made it into the seventh and retired Vernon Wells before back-to-back walks ended his day.
Darren O’Day got a double play to end the rally.
Chen is charged with one run and five hits, with three walks and five strikeouts, in 6 1/3 innings. He threw 96 pitches, 58 for strikes.
He deserves a win today.
He won’t get it. The best he can hope for is a nice no-decision.
Chen lasted 5 1/3 and 5 2/3 innings in his first two major league starts. He hasn’t given up more than two earned runs in any outing.
Update II: Markakis isn’t mad anymore.
Markakis grounded a single into left field off left-hander Scott Downs with two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth, scoring two runs and giving the Orioles a 2-1 lead.
Markakis got ahead 2-0 before going with the pitch and shooting it into left field. And kudos to third base coach DeMarlo Hale for the aggressive send with Endy Chavez, who fueled the rally with a single.
Update III: Now Pedro Strop is mad. He served up a game-tying home run to Howie Kendrick in the bottom of the eighth.
O’Day threw six pitches in the seventh. Not sure why he didn’t come back out for the eighth, except that Strop apparently is the set-up man.