It finally happened.
The ground beneath our feet didn’t freeze over. Dogs and cats aren’t best friends. But Orioles center fielder Adam Jones did, indeed, draw a walk in the first inning.
Jones’ two-out free pass off White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana was his first since May 18. That’s 43 games and 184 plate appearances - the longest stretch in baseball. He left Eric Hinske in the dust.
The Orioles lost to the Rays that day, 10-6, at Camden Yards despite Jones going 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs and the rare walk. Chris Davis hit his 12th home run.
Jair Jurrjens made his only start for the Orioles. Jim Johnson blew the save by allowing five runs in one-third of an inning.
Here’s the box score, if you’re feeling nostalgic.
Manny Machado singled today before the walk. Davis, apparently unaware of the significance, followed by lining into a double play.
Brian Roberts struck out in the second inning, making him 2-for-3 when batting sixth.
Nick Markakis singled and is 6-for-9 in the series.
Zach Britton has allowed a hit and walked a batter in two innings.
Update: Britton took a shutout into the sixth inning. Unfortunately for the Orioles, so did Quintana.
The White Sox scored twice in the sixth on RBI singles by Alex Rios and Adam Dunn.
Alexei Ramirez scored on Rios’ single. Apparently, his left foot grazed the plate. MASN replays were inconclusive. At least, to my eyes. The right foot definitely missed.
Quintana has allowed two hits and struck out a career-high 11 batters. Maybe the Orioles are exhausted from all these left-handers.
Update II: Nate Jones replaced Quintana in the eighth and gave up two runs to tie the game.
So, that’s all it took.
First baseman Adam Dunn - yes, the White Sox let him play in the field - committed an error on pinch-hitter Matt Wieters bounced up the line to let a run score, and Nick Markakis followed with a sacrifice fly.
Britton was in line for a tough-luck loss. Not anymore.
Britton gave up two runs in seven innings. Some fans are ripping him for the sixth-inning difficulties. Most teams will take two runs in seven innings from a back-of-the-rotation starter. Trust me.
Update III: Dunn atoned for his error with a walk-off home run off Tommy Hunter on a 3-2 curveball.
Dunn went to the opposite field, denying the Orioles a chance to move a season-high 12 games over .500.
Hunter had allowed only two home runs in his last 17 appearances. Dunn was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts against Hunter before today. He was 1-for-1 against Brian Matusz, who was warming in the bullpen.
See you in the Bronx.