Put anyone atop the order and they seem to heat up.
Markakis batted .335 with 15 doubles, two triples, five homers, 28 RBIs, 34 runs scored and an .879 OPS as the leadoff hitter. McLouth has five hits in this series and is 10-for-23 on the homestand, raising his average to .279 with the Orioles.
McLouth doubled with two outs in the third inning, again pulling the ball into the right field corner, but J.J. Hardy grounded out.
McLouth received another loud ovation today as he stepped to the plate following last night’s walk-off single, which was replayed on the video board, along with Chris Davis lifting him in the air.
Wei-Yin Chen has allowed five hits in four innings, and he fell behind, 1-0, in the top of the fourth on back-to-back singles and Jeff Keppinger’s sacrifice fly.
Adam Jones made a diving catch to rob Keppinger, but Ben Zobrist tagged up and scored the game’s first run.
Chen has five strikeouts and has thrown 44 of his 58 pitches for strikes.
Update: The Orioles have extended throwback pricing for select locations during the Orioles’ series against the Blue Jays on Sept. 24-26.
For all three games of the series (including the single-admission doubleheader on Sept. 24), Eutaw Street bleacher seats are $4 (regularly $19) and all left field lower box seats are $8 (regularly $32) while supplies last. Fans can take advantage of the 75 percent discount online at www.orioles.com/buckleup or by stopping by the Oriole Park Box Office.
Fans who already purchased regularly priced seats in the Eutaw Street bleachers or left field lower box will receive a refund for the difference in ticket value. A refund check will be automatically issued, and fans should allow up to four weeks for processing and delivery.
As for today’s game, the Orioles stranded a runner in scoring position in the second, third and fourth innings.
Chen has allowed one run and six hits, with no walks and six strikeouts, in five innings. He’s thrown 72 pitches, 55 for strikes.
Mark Reynolds led off the fifth inning with his 66th walk.
Update II: Taylor Teagarden has six hits with the Orioles, including three doubles and two home runs.
Way to make them count.
Teagarden’s two-run double off Wade Davis in the seventh inning gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead.
Manny Machado laid down a bunt and reached on Davis’ error. Mark Reynolds struck out after Davis’ first pitch put him on his back, but Robert Andino walked. Teagarden followed with his clutch double into right-center field.
Teagarden’s six hits include a walk-off home run against the Tigers back on July 14 in his first game with the Orioles. He also had a tie-breaking double in the 10th inning against the Rays on Aug. 5 that snapped a 1-for-25 skid.
Teagarden reminds me of The Most Interesting Man in the World from the Dos Equis ads, except he says, “I don’t always get hits, but when I do, I prefer game-winners.”
So, how many fans were hollering for manager Buck Showalter to pinch-hit for Teagarden in the seventh?
Update III: The Rays tied the game in the eight on Desmond Jenning’s leadoff walk, Teagarden’s passed ball, a stolen base and Ben Zobrist’s infield hit.
Machado had no play on Zobrist’s slow roller and nobody to deke.
Darren O’Day entered the game and retired the next two batters. He’s only allowed six of 38 inherited runners to score.
Chen gave up two runs and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings, with one walk and seven strikeouts. He threw 106 pitches, 79 for strikes.
The Orioles have scored three runs or fewer 13 times in Chen’s last 22 starts while he’s been in the game.
The Orioles are 63-0 when leading after the seventh. A win today will improve them to 64-0. Don’t let the tying run fool you. The perfect mark is still alive.