Advertisement

Oliver Drake caps stellar night for Orioles bullpen with his first major league win

Before Mark Trumbo ended the Orioles' 3-2 victory with one swing in the bottom of the 12th inning Friday night, it was the bullpen that kept the team in the game.

Six relievers combined for six scoreless innings, holding the Arizona Diamondbacks lineup at bay as the Orioles batting order went through some long but unproductive innings.

Advertisement

The win was highlighted by right-hander Oliver Drake, who quickly retired the Diamondbacks in order on just eight pitches in the top of the 12th to set the stage for Trumbo's walk-off heroics.

"Tremendous effort," Trumbo said. "That's what fuels us, especially Drake going out there and throwing a clean inning, getting the momentum on our side, the crowd on our side and that can be a real boost."

The Orioles had used all of their late-inning lockdown arms with Darren O'Day, Brad Brach, Mychal Givens, Zach Britton and Tommy Hunter each pitching a scoreless inning before Drake, a Naval Academy product, entered the game in the 12th. Drake retired all three batters he faced and earned his first major league win.

"That's huge, being able to go out there … retire them in order and get the offense back out there because they can do damage whenever," Drake said.

Even though the Orioles are just 3-6 on this homestand, the bullpen has been nearly flawless, with a 0.91 ERA (four earned runs over 39 2/3 innings).

On Friday night, the relievers kept the Orioles' playoff hopes alive until the offense could rally from a 2-0 deficit and eventually win in 12 innings.

"It's big because it gives our offense a chance to know, 'OK, if we keep getting zeroes, eventually somebody's going to run into one and we're going to get a barrel and get some momentum going,'" said catcher Matt Wieters, whose solo homer in the ninth sent the game to extra innings. "It's big. The bullpen has been great for us all year."

Since Drake was recalled on Aug. 28, he has posted a 1.64 ERA, allowing just two earned runs in 11 innings over eight outings. He has also held opposing hitters to a .105 batting average, and is beginning to give manager Buck Showalter another late-inning option down the stretch.

"That was an awesome, awesome time for the first win," Drake said. "You know, every game counts right now, so it's huge. So hopefully, we can take some momentum in and build on it. … All the guys [in the bullpen], you know, kind of feed off each other. When one guy goes out there, and puts up a zero, the next guy wants to go do it. We just kind feed off it and it's exciting to go out there and do it."

eencina@baltsun.com
twitter.com/EddieInThe Yard

Advertisement
Advertisement