After that recent stretch where he went 11-for-18, it was clear Derrek Lee’s bat was coming to life.
Tonight he provided another example with that clutch, walk-off homer to left, leading off the last of the 12th as the Orioles beat the Reds 5-4.
Lee entered tonight batting just .128 on the year, going 6-for-47, when batting with runners in scoring position. He is a career .279 hitter with RISP. That homer did not come with RISP, of course, but it was pretty clutch.
It kept the Orioles from losing because they did not get a clutch hit several times tonight as they went 2-for-14 as team with RISP and left 13 men on base. It kept the Orioles from losing a game where they lost a 4-0 lead.
Lee may be starting to drive the ball and that may be the best sign to come out of tonight’s game. He doubled in the 5th and homered in the 12th as part of a 3-for-5 night, raising his average to .247. Lee is 14-for-32 for an average of .438 over his past seven games.
Tonight was Lee’s first game all year when he had more than one extra-base hit.
When he began this seven-game run of good hitting his slugging percentage was .310 and now it is .361. His OPS has increased from .597 to .671. Lee has five multi-hit games over his last seven contests. Lee had just six doubles over his first 48 games and now has four in the last seven games.
A walk-off win that was much needed for Lee and the team.
The Orioles start a stretch where their next 23 games will be against winning teams by winning. A sellout crowd saw a dramatic end and a win as Lee delivered for the Orioles.