By Peter Schmuck
The Baltimore Sun
12:13 AM EDT, September 22, 2012
The Orioles were an out away from making a clean getaway on Friday night when Red Sox pitcher Mark Melancon drilled O’s second baseman Robert Andino in the side of the head with a pitch. Andino left the game and underwent concussion testing. He also was scheduled to undergo a CT scan after the game.
Lest anyone forget, this is where second baseman Brian Roberts suffered a concussion on a dive into first base early last season.
Jim Johnson’s club record 46th save extended an amazingly efficient run that dates back to July 30. In his 21 games since then, he has pitched given up just one run and has a 0.45 ERA and 16 saves.
If you need any more proof that the baseball world has turned over during the past couple of years, Jon Lester actually lost a decision to the Orioles. Lester was 14-0 in 20 career starts against the O’s before Friday night, but the worm was already rolling over. The Red Sox were 16-1 in his first 17 starts, but are 0-4 in the last four.
Friday night’s game was the third straight for the Orioles with a two-run margin of victory, but this one was accomplished at a reasonable hour. The previous two took a combined 29 innings in Seattle. The Orioles are now 52-21 in games decided by one or two runs (.712).
Mark Reynolds continues to be a consistent contributor to the offense. He was 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI on Friday night and has tied a career high with at least one RBI in six consecutive games. He is 7 for 15 with eight RBI in his last four games against the Red Sox.
Manager Buck Showalter said Friday that he inserted veteran Randy Wolf into Saturday’s start at Fenway Park because of overall experience and a strong performance last year. The real reason is that crafty left-handers are very hard to pick up in the daytime at The Fens.
Miguel Gonzalez seems to do well in front of his family and friends. He had his high school baseball coach in the stands for Friday night’s game.