Game 61: Orioles 7, Rays 0

The Good:

  • Jake Arrieta pitched 7 shutout innings, but he wasn’t great overall. His control was spotty once again, but he was able to keep the ball on the ground (leading to a pair of double plays) and was able to generate a few whiffs with the heater and curve. Final line; 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K.
  • JJ Hardy was batting out of the one-slot for the third time today – and hit his second lead-off (of a game) home run. He reached base in all five trips to the plate, walking twice, getting hit by a pitch, and singling. If Hardy keeps playing well, he won’t be cheap to bring back after the season. O’s should have tried to lock him up for a couple years right when they traded for him.
  • Nick Markakis sent a rocket just over the scoreboard in right for a grand slam – his first extra-base hit in almost a month. Then he added a second later; an RBI double to deep left-center.

The Bad:

  • I guess Robert Andino trying – and failing terrbily – to lay down a bunt with runners at second and third with less than two outs was pretty bad. Luke Scott wasn’t able to lay one down either against the infield shift – anything fair up the third-base line was a sure hit – but credit to him for trying (and to Jim Palmer for doing a fair job explaining the game theory of it).

The Final:

Four wins in a row now for the Birds, who move to within one game of .500. Nice to see Nick have a good game, given how much he’s struggled this season. Hopefully it’s the start of a hot streak for him.