Adam Jones' bases-loaded single in the 14th inning Tuesday night capped a four-hour, 55-minute test of survival, giving the Orioles their 12th straight extra-inning win, 8-7, over the Seattle Mariners.
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is an All-Star and a Gold Glove winner. He¿s regarded as one of the best gamecallers in the game. But he¿s not known for his speed. However, in Saturday night¿s 4-0 win over the Rays, Wieters stole second twice.
Orioles pitcher Tommy Hunter pitched well against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, falling just one out short of a quality start. But he made two fatal mistakes, a pair of solo home runs that proved to be the difference in a 2-0 Orioles¿ in front of an announced crowd of 18,410 at Tropicana Field.
They were referring to the Orioles' two key hits with runners in scoring position in a five-run fifth inning, which fueled their 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. For a team that came in batting just .152 with runners in scoring position since June 14, those hits made the Orioles feel like they were suddenly cured.
By By David Selig and Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun
In the past few weeks, the Orioles have had contact with the San Diego Padres about third baseman Chase Headley, the Philadelphia Phillies about third baseman Placido Polanco and the Chicago Cubs about first baseman Bryan LaHair.
After struggling throughout the day with runners on base, first baseman Mark Reynolds gave the O's the key they needed, a looping two-out single off Twins reliever Anthony Swarzak in the eighth to propel the Orioles to a 4-3 comeback win.
The only thing forgiving to the Orioles on Monday night in Seattle was the official scorer at Safeco Field. The Orioles were only charged with one error ¿ raising their major-league high to 70 -- in their 6-3 loss to the Mariners Monday night, but anyone staying up past the late local news to watch Baltimore¿s comedy of non-errors knows better than that.
The Orioles have been exceptionally cautious with top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy in his first professional year, keeping him in the South Atlantic League when he obviously was too advanced for the level and not allowing him to throw more than five innings now that he is with the Frederick Keys of the Carolina League.
It has been a busy weekend already, but the Orioles made a couple more roster moves on Sunday morning, optioning outfielder Xavier Avery to Triple-A Norfolk to finish making room for the arrival of newly acquired DH Jim Thome and the recall of reliever Miguel Gonzalez. The O's already had optioned pitcher Tommy Hunter to Norfolk on Saturday night.
An untimely combination has hit the Orioles at the wrong time. The club's offensive struggles have become just the beginning of the issues facing the Orioles. Now, the team's starting pitching has become unglued.
Orioles reliever Matt Lindstrom has to wait one more day to come off the disabled list as the club reshuffles its pitching staff. Lindstrom has been on the disabled list since May 11 with a partially torn ligament in his right finger.
Despite last night's 3-1 loss to the Nationals, the Orioles can still clinch their fifth series win in six interleague series with a win in this afternoon's series finale. A win would also give the Orioles their 11th in interleague play, tying a franchise high previously done three times (1999, 2008, 2009). The Orioles will be without left-handed reliever Dana Eveland, who left to California to be with his wife, Ashley, who is delivering the couple's second child. Eveland won't be placed on the paternity leave list until Tuesday
For Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen, the line between good and great Saturday night was as thin as one strike. Chen was close, very close, as he turned in a serviceable performance in the O's 3-1 loss to the Washington Nationals.
It¿s true that the Orioles have faced a fierce lineup of arms over the past seven games, but with another dreadful offensive performance Saturday night against the Washington Nationals, their bats have suddenly gone silent.