The Orioles news seems to run together, but I seem to remember a conference call being set up at the Winter Meetings for new coach DeMarlo Hale, formerly of the Boston Red Sox.
I didn’t know much about Hale, but I’ve learned that he’s one heck of a third base coach.
Hale hasn’t gotten much heat on this blog. Third base coaches can be lightening rods. They’re too passive or they get too many runners thrown out at the plate.
Hale will never be mistaken for passive. He’s pretty aggressive, and it showed again tonight in his wise send of Chris Davis with two outs in the fourth inning.
Davis reached on a fielder’s choice and came around on Mark Reynolds’ single. Yes, his single.
Hale waited to the last instant before determining that Davis could score, waving him home to give the Orioles a short-lived 1-0 lead.
Franklin Gutierrez homered with one out in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game.
Left fielder Nate McLouth robbed Jesus Montero of an extra-base hit with a leaping catch at the fence to end the inning and further justify executive vice president Dan Duquette’s faith in him. What a tremendous signing this has turned out to be for the Orioles.
We’re tied in the fifth inning. Anyone up for another 18 innings?
I’ve heard that owner Peter Angelos stayed up to watch all 18 innings last night. Shame on those of you who couldn’t hang.
OK, I’ll let you off the hook. You probably had to get up early for work or to get your kids ready for school.
Update: Manager Buck Showalter told me earlier today that he really needed Joe Saunders to go nine innings tonight. Well, the first eight have been more than acceptable.
Saunders has allowed one run and five hits, with no walks and two strikeouts. He’s thrown 98 pitches, 61 for strikes, and has turned in his longest outing since working nine innings for the Diamondbacks on April 27.
Too bad that Felix Hernandez held the Orioles to one run in eight innings.
Saunders has allowed six runs in 25 2/3 innings in his last four starts with the Orioles.
So, we’re tied in the ninth. Just what the Orioles didn’t need.
Update II: Adam Jones hit a two-run homer off Josh Kinney in the top of the 11th inning, and the Orioles completed their sweep of the Mariners with 3-1 victory.
The Orioles are 21-8 when Jones homers and 19 of his 30 homers have tied the game (three) or given them the lead (16).
Jim Johnson notched his 45th save to tie Randy Myers’ club record. It wasn’t easy, though. He allowed two hits and walked a batter. But Taylor Teagarden cut down Michael Saunders trying to steal second base to end the game.
The Orioles are a half-game behind the Yankees in the American League East. They’re 15-2 in extra-inning games, with 15 consecutive wins.
Meanwhile, Dylan Bundy met with the media in Seattle earlier today, and MASN was there. Take a look: