Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Birds battle back for win

BALTIMORE - The Baltimore Orioles had waited for months for Taylor Teagarden. After the backup catcher hurt his back in early March, the Orioles held out hope he'd eventually help them.

In his first game, he did. Inserted in the 11th inning after Matt Wieters left for a pinch-runner, Teagarden hit a two-run, game-winning home run in the 13th to give the Orioles a wild 8-6 comeback win over the Detroit Tigers before 43,215 at Oriole Park on Saturday.

The game took nearly five hours, and featured Jim Johnson's second blown save of the season and two extra-inning comebacks.

The Orioles (46-41) trailed 6-5 entering the bottom of the 13th.

J.J. Hardy hit a home run off Joaquin Benoit (1-2) to tie the score at 6. That broke an 0-for-28 slump.

With one out, Adam Jones was hit with a pitch, and Teagarden hit a 1-2 pitch to right-center field for his first home run since Aug. 18, 2010.

"I got pretty pumped in my first at-bat. I had a chance to win the game. I was really amped," Teagarden said. "I've been thinking about this day for a while."

The Orioles had put Teagarden on the 60-day disabled list and he had been in Sarasota, Fla. for four months.

"I never thought I would see this day," Teagarden said. "I felt like it was miles away."

Kevin Gregg (3-2), the Orioles' eighth pitcher of the game, retired the only batter he faced in the 13th for the win.

Baltimore led 4-1 entering the ninth. Wei-Yin Chen pitched six excellent innings, allowing just a run and two hits.

Jim Johnson, in his first post-All Star Game appearance, gave up four hits, and three runs, two unearned in the ninth. He's saved 26 games, blown two, but Baltimore won both of those.

"I did more bad than good today," Johnson said. "But that happens. Obviously with a three-run lead, that shouldn't happen. I was obviously upset about it. I got over it by the 12th and I was out there rooting for the guys."

It's possible the Orioles will need an extra reliever on Sunday, but there are limited options. Johnson takes the blame.

"The biggest problem I had with blowing it was we had to throw all the extra guys out of the bullpen. Obviously, that's on me," Johnson said.

While Johnson was upset, Hardy was relieved. He was hitless in his first five at-bats and hadn't had a hit since July 3.

"It's exhausting, but it's exciting when you win," Hardy said. "It was a lot of fun to jump on Teagarden after he stepped on home plate."

NOTES: Jason Hammel said after the game he was "leaning toward" surgery on his right knee. Hammel had to leave Friday's game in the fourth inning and had an MRI on Saturday afternoon.

Hammel has been troubled with a bad knee much of the season, and manager Buck Showalter said that he could return in September if he had surgery.

With Hammel out, the Orioles will probably bring back Brian Matusz, who pitched a four-hit shutout in his first game after he was sent to Norfolk on July 1.

Chris Tillman has back spasms, and Showalter will delay his start a day. Miguel Gonzalez pitches on Sunday instead, and Tillman will begin the four-game series at Minnesota on Monday. The Orioles are likely to call up Zach Britton to pitch on Tuesday.

Ronny Paulino, who's been the backup catcher for most of this year, was outrighted to Norfolk to make room for Teagarden. Paulino isn't sure he'll accept the assignment and may opt for free agency. He hit .254 in 20 games.

Dana Eveland was designated for assignment. He was 0-1 with a 4.73 ERA 14 games, two of them starts. If Eveland passes through waivers, he'll report to Norfolk. The Orioles purchased the contract of right-hander Miguel Socolovich from the Tides. Socolovich was 3-0 with a 1.77 ERA in 24 games with Norfolk. He was signed as a minor league free agent and pitched a perfect inning in Wednesday's Triple-A All-Star Game.

Dylan Bundy allowed two hits in five innings against Carolina in Frederick's game at Harry Grove Stadium. He struck out eight.