Honestly, the Orioles 9-7 victory over the Angels could be viewed as two separate games…
The Birds cruised to a 9-1 lead through the first six innings on Wednesday night at Camden Yards. Brian Matusz was incredible, and the offense was unstoppable.
After a brief rain delay that lasted less than 30 minutes, the O’s bullpen crumbled and the bats went silent.
Still, the Birds won their second straight game under new skipper Buck Showalter, and have ensured their first series win since the All-Star break.
Brian Matusz went six strong innings, allowing just one run on seven hits while walking none and fanning two. The offense backed him up, as the O’s plated three runs in the second inning and another in the third before exploding for five runs in the fourth. The Birds amassed 14 hits, five for extra bases, and went 6-for-12 with runners in scoring position. The five runs scored in the fourth all came with two outs, a new season high for the Orioles.
Then the rains came…
Matt Albers started the seventh inning and was charged with four runs after recording just one out. David Hernandez came on in relief and was charged with another run before he was forced to leave the game with an ankle injury (he will most likely be placed on the 15-day DL). Koji Uehara was the unlikely hero of the ‘pen, recording the final out of the seventh before striking out the side in the eighth. Closer Alfredo Simon recorded the save, but was hit hard in the ninth (three hits, two for doubles, and a run scored).
While the pitchers (excluding Uehara) were flailing, the bats were held at bay…the O’s managed just a few hits off the Angel’s bullpen, and were held scoreless through the final four frames.
When all is said and done, though, the Orioles won. Brian Matusz picked up his first victory since July 4th, and Alfredo Simon earned his 16th save in 19 tries. It would’ve been nice if a blow-out hadn’t turned into a nail-biter, but I’ll take the win! Jake Arrieta takes the mound Thursday night as the Birds look to sweep the Angels…Go O’s!