OK, you don’t see that every night: a walk-off grand slam. But Matt Wieters hit one to beat Tampa Bay in the last of the 10th last night. It was the first by an Oriole since Harold Baines hit one against the White Sox on May 4, 1999.
Wieters said he could not remember ever ending a game that way, even going back to Little League.
Now we see if that momentum can carry over for the Orioles. In baseball, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. But an O’s offense that had scored three runs or fewer in six of the previous nine games kind of needed that 10-run, 14-hit, three-homer breakout.
Nolan Reimold and Steve Pearce needed those homers they hit, as well, and maybe that will help jump-start their bats.
If you missed this story I posted before last night’s game, Reimold said his slow start at bat was not due to any physical ailment. He seemed to be upbeat that things would soon get better and then he went out and crushed that homer to center field.
In the eight games before the Tampa Bay series, Wieters went 2-for-26 without a homer or RBI. Then he went 4-for-11 with a double, two homers and five RBIs.
As this game was going on, it felt like a big game and it was - another American League East battle. The Orioles have now won three of four series in the division on the year, going 7-5 in those dozen games.
The Orioles also probably could not have figured to see David Price start twice against them in the first 15 games and win both those games, scoring 17 runs, even if they didn’t pin a loss on Price’s record.
Price, the 2012 AL Cy Young winner, had an ERA of 0.40 last year against this club. This season, he has allowed seven runs (all earned) over 12 innings for an ERA of 5.25.
What the crowd lacked in size Thursday night - at just 13,986 fans - it made up for in enthusiasm and they were rewarded with an amazing ending.
Now bring on the Dodgers for their first visit to Baltimore since June 2002.
Meanwhile, the Double-A Bowie Baysox won a wild one last night. In a game that featured a combined 24 runs and 35 hits, the Baysox (8-7) scored five unanswered runs over the last three innings to come from behind and beat the Akron Aeros 13-11 in 10 innings.
Bowie’s Caleb Joseph continued an amazing streak in that game, going 3-for-6 with a double, two homers and four RBIs.
Joseph drove in a run for the ninth consecutive game. That is quite an RBI streak that has seen him knock in 17 runs in the nine games. Over the last five games, he has four multi-RBI games, driving in 12 runs in that stretch.
On the year, Joseph is batting .345 with four homers and 20 RBIs. Joseph leads the Eastern League in doubles, extra-base hits and RBIs, and is tied for the league lead in homers.
I’m not sure if the Baysox keep such records, but a nine-game RBI streak is rather impressive, don’t you think?
By the way, here is a great stat the Baysox posted on their Twitter account late last night. Joseph and the Orioles Chris Davis both have 20 RBIs which is tied for the most in all of professional baseball.