The case for the defense

Here is a question for you: Can a team create offense out of its defense?

Sure it can - in basketball or football. You steal the ball and it leads to a slam dunk. You force a turnover setting up your offense on the opponent’s 10-yard line. But in baseball?

The Orioles may have done that in a way last night. The game was tied 0-0 and Detroit had a rally going in the last of the sixth. They got two on with none out. It looked like that Zach Britton had held the Tigers down for a while, but now they might break through on their way to taking the first two games of this series. And that would move them ahead of the Orioles in the wild card standings.

But then Britton struck out Jhonny Peralta. Delmon Young, batting next, hit a grounder up the middle. J.J. Hardy ranged far to his left and fielded the ball behind the second base bag. He then made a back-hand flip to Robert Andino, who whirled and fired a strike to first to complete a very nifty-looking, inning-ending double play.

That sent the Orioles to their dugout with a lift and momentum, and had Britton shouting what must have been words of enthusiasm to his infield teammates.

Then came the top of the seventh. Adam Jones singled. So did Matt Wieters. Then Chris Davis showed his strong raw power with a three-run homer off the end of his bat to left field. Within a few minutes, first the defense and then the offense put the Orioles in control of this game.

On a side note to this, the Orioles’ defense is much improved in recent weeks as players like Omar Quintanilla, Nate McLouth and Manny Machado have been upgrades, and it has been a real plus for this team.

Can you create offense off your defense in baseball? For one night, it looked like the Orioles did.

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