Welcome back, Mike Wright. He never made it to Norfolk, but I think he understood the message that was being sent to him. My guess is it was, “get your stuff together, and come back strong”. He did just that.
Let me see a show of hands who thought Mike Wright was going 7 IP tonight, while giving up 0 earned runs. Not a single person should be raising there hands, but it happened folks. On 95 pitches, 60 strikes, Wright made semi-quick work of the Royals, getting 4 strike outs, while only walking 2. Now with a 5.14 ERA on the year, Wright has gained a little respect back (hopefully) from Birdland. I know he has some back from myself. I’ve always liked the kid, and love the fact that he does show emotion on the field. The frustration with him will always stem from his inability to locate the fastball on any given night. Tonight, however, was not that night.
In what seemed like another quiet night from the offense, the O’s waited until the 7th inning to start the scoring. As the Orioles are famous for doing, Mark Trumbo waited until after “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” played loud at Camden Yards, to blast his 19th home run. We have a thing for scoring in the 7th inning. Excitement factor? Maybe. Regardless, that homer tied the game, and Matt Wieters one batter later gave the Orioles the lead, on his 100th homer as an Orioles catcher. Later in the inning, Jonesy doubled to the right side, scoring Nolan Reimold. Jonathan Shoop has blown through Bobby Dickerson’s halt sign, and was tagged out at the plate to end the 7th.
Schoop also was involved in the weirdest play I have ever seen. In trying to throw out Jarrod Dyson at first, Schoop tried to hold up a throw to 1st, and in the process, the ball slipped out and tagged Cheslor Cuthbert right in the elbow. The ball bounced off his elbow about 20 feet in the air. Ouch.
In the 8th inning, to add an insurance run, Manny Machado prevented the golden sombrero from being placed on top of his head, by crushing his 15th home run to left field, giving the Orioles a 4-1 lead. Zach Britton came on in the top of the 9th, to record his 18th save, and 18th in a row to open the season.
The Orioles (33-23) now sit a half game ahead of the Red Sox in the standings, looking to take the middle game, and the series tomorrow night, against Kansas City. It sure is a fun time to be an Orioles fan right now!