April 16-April 18: Orioles Handle Rays in Series, 2-1
The Baltimore Orioles beat the Tampa Rays two games in three for the second time this season, in a series April 16 to April 18.
The Orioles were unstoppable at the plate when they played the Rays during the first week of the season, but they had to beat the Rays differently this time around. A victory in game one came with only six hits by Baltimore; catcher Matt Wieters hit a solo homerun in the 5-4 victory, but the other four runs were pieced together by timely walks, steals, passed balls and clutch hitting.
The second game of the series didn’t go as well for the Orioles, mainly due to poor pitching by starting pitcher Chris Tillman. Tillman gave up four earned runs on six hits in five innings, and the bullpen couldn’t save the Orioles either, giving up the final two runs in a 6-2 loss.
Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez was just as bad in the final game of the series, allowing four earned runs and two homeruns in five innings before he was relieved, but the Orioles bats came alive late in the game. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning, Matt Wieters nailed a walk-off grand slam homerun to win the game, 10-6.
April 20: Orioles Beat the Dodgers in Makeup Game
The first game of a three-game set against the L.A. Dodgers was postponed on April 19, and played the following day. For the third straight game, an Orioles starting pitchers performed poorly as Jason Hammel allowed four runs on just 51 pitches in the first two innings.
But Hammel eventually settled in and threw some good pitches in the middle innings, allowing the Orioles’ batters to go to work. J.J. Hardy and Nolan Reimold both hit homeruns and relief pitcher Jim Johnson eared his seventh save of the season as Baltimore won the game, 7-5.
Oriole Player of the Week:
Wieters hit two of his three homeruns of the season in the series against the Tampa Bay Rays, including the decisive grand slam in the final game of the series. He also recorded four hits and four RBI in the series.
The Orioles (8-7 overall) will face the Toronto Blue Jays in a three-game series on April 22 to April 24 in Baltimore. The team will then travel to Oakland to play the Athletics in a four-game series from April 25 to April 28.