Digesting Friday's Orioles win and plunking fireworks

This isn't football. Or the NCAA basketball tournament.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter likes to talk about how the momentum of one win in baseball doesn't mean much -- it's all about the next game's starting pitcher.


But he almost bit after Friday night's emotionally charged 14-8 victory over the Kansas City Royals at Camden Yards in which he was ejected in the Orioles' 10-run eighth inning.

When asked about the game being a potential rallying cry even though there are only 22 games left, Showalter responded, "We're trying to win 22 in a row. When we left [the] advanced meeting today, we were trying to win 23. We'll start tomorrow trying to win 22 more."


Then, Showalter went back to the next game's starting pitcher line.

And, frankly, maybe it won't mean much to the remainder of this season.

But you have to like how the Orioles responded in the eighth, and really how the whole atmosphere felt. It unfolded this way:

Nolan Reimold hits a grand slam -- the first of his career -- against the tough Kelvin Herrera to give the Orioles a two-run lead. Then Machado homers. And after a single by Adam Jones, Franklin Morales hits Chris Davis, the Orioles' hottest hitter, with a pitch in the side.

It couldn't have looked more intentional. And Davis reacted as such, one-hand tomahawking his bat to the ground -- and breaking it at the handle -- and then staring at Morales as he walked to first as Showalter rushed onto the field.

Home plate umpire Mark Carlson didn't eject Morales, but he did issue warnings to both sides. And that combo sent Showalter into a tirade. So, Carlson ejected Showalter.

But the Orioles just kept going, getting another grand slam from Steve Clevenger. It marked just the second time in Orioles history -- Larry Sheets and Jim Dwyer on Aug. 6, 1986 in a 13-11 loss to the Texas Rangers -- and eighth time in baseball history that a team hit two grand slams in one inning.

Then, in the ninth, rookie Mychal Givens hit Kendrys Morales with a pitch with two on and two outs. Not a huge stretch to think that one was payback for the Davis bruise. But Carlson didn't do anything, even though he had already issued the warning to the Orioles.


The sense is that Carlson got Showalter's point, understood a payback would happen, and didn't overreact when it did.

Kansas City manager Ned Yost didn't do anything either -- just let the game play on.

Things might have been different if Givens had hit Lorenzo Cain, who had already homered twice in the game, but Morales was a little safer.

There were no brawls, benches didn't empty. It was just two teams that share a competitive fire -- and not a lot of love after last year's American League Championship Series that the Royals won in four games -- going at it.

The Royals are headed to the postseason. Unless Showalter gets his wish and the Orioles win 22 straight -- or close to it -- the Orioles aren't.

On Friday night, though, it felt like a playoff game, especially with a sold-out crowd of 45,420 on hand.


Momentum might not work in baseball. So maybe this was simply Game No. 140 in a mediocre Orioles season. That's the most likely scenario. But it sure felt like more.