On Monday night, Zach Britton took a two-hitter and two-run lead into the sixth and didn’t make it through the inning. Last night, Cleveland’s Justin Masterson took a three-hitter and two-run lead to the seventh inning but couldn’t make it through that frame.
Two pitchers seemingly rolling along and then - boom - they give up the lead and lose the game.
Masterson rolled into the seventh inning with a 3-1 lead and the Orioles looked well on their way to a fifth loss in a row. Then Chris Davis and Alexi Casilla hit two huge homers and defeat was turned into victory.
What happened during that big inning and did the Orioles change their approach against Masterson?
“He’s going to be tough just because he has so much deception and movement on his ball,” Matt Wieters said. “You have to trust your read and trust you’ll get something up and try to put a good swing on it.”
Casilla put a good swing on a very unlikely three-run homer. He has 12 major league homers and his last two have been against Masterson.
“It’s big. Little guy hit the ball a long way. It’s a big lift for us to get the lead and turn it over to the bullpen. It was a big win,” Wieters said.
It was indeed a big win, one that ended a losing streak at four, gave the Orioles a chance to win another series and kept them 2 1/2 games back in the American League East.
Some other notes on that win:
* Chris Tillman gave the Orioles just their 10th game this year where the starting pitcher went seven innings or more. The O’s are 8-2 in those games. Over his last five starts, he is 5-0 with an ERA of 2.61. Tillman is 6-0 over his last seven starts since his last loss, May 19 versus Tampa Bay.
* Jim Johnson picked up his 27th save. Since suffering his fourth blown save in five chances May 26 at Toronto, Johnson has gone 12-for-12 in save chances. In that time, he has thrown 13 1/3 innings allowing seven hits and one run. That is an ERA of 0.68.
* The Orioles have now homered in a season-high 13 consecutive games. They have hit 15 homers in the last seven games and 22 in the last 13. The Orioles have hit 108 homers to lead Major League Baseball.
* Davis hit his 28th homer. It was also his sixth homer in the last nine games, eighth in 12 games and his 17th in his last 37 games. Davis is now on a pace to hit 58 homers.
Davis has hit six homers versus left-handed pitching and 22 against right-handers. He has hit 13 at home and 15 on the road. He hit nine in April, 10 in May and has nine in June. He has his most homers in the second and fourth innings, when he has homered six times in each.
* With the win, the O’s are 35-17 when scoring more than four runs.