Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Game of the Day (5/26/14)

Orioles 7, Brewers 6 (10). Once AL East rivals, these two teams now faced off as interleague opponents in a game started by Baltimore's Chris Tillman and Milwaukee's Kyle Lohse.

Lohse worked around an Adam Jones single to throw a scoreless first inning; Tillman gave up a run in the bottom of the inning, which is what happens when the leadoff hitter (Jean Segura) triples and the #2 hitter (Ryan Braun) doubles. Both pitchers allowed doubles in the second, to JJ Hardy and Khris Davis respectively, but neither team could push the runner across.

Baltimore got on the board in a significant way in the top of the third, starting with singles by Nick Markakis and Manny Machado. Jones then tripled both runners home, and Nelson Cruz doubled to score Jones for a 3-1 lead. Milwaukee countered with a Jonathan Lucroy walk, a Carlos Gomez single, and a Mark Reynolds sac fly in the bottom of the inning, then recaptured the advantage in the fourth when Davis and Lyle Overbay both drew walks and Segura drove them both in with a double.

Lohse and Tillman were both perfect in the fifth, and Lohse kept the bases clear again in the sixth. Tillman recorded the first out quickly, but then allowed back-to-back homers to Davis and Overbay that led to his removal from the game after striking out Lohse. The Orioles trimmed the deficit by a run when Jonathan Schoop led off the seventh with a homer, but still trailed 6-4, and Lohse and Brandon Kintzler combined to maintain that score through the eighth. Meanwhile, Brad Brach tossed a spotless seventh, then loaded the bases in the eighth on a Scooter Gennett double, a Davis single, and a walk to Overbay, but Rickie Weeks struck out and Segura hit into a force to keep the margin to a pair of runs.

Francisco Rodriguez quickly secured the first two outs of the ninth. Schoop then homered again, Delmon Young followed with a pinch single, and Markakis doubled to score pinch runner David Lough and tie the game at 6. Milwaukee mounted a rather serious threat against Darren O'Day in the bottom of the inning, as Lucroy singled and Nick Hundley committed a two-base error on a Gomez bunt, putting runners at second and third with one out. But Reynolds lined into a double play, sending the game to extras.

Rob Wooten worked through two outs in the tenth before allowing a runner, but a Hardy double and a Hundley single conspired to put Baltimore in front. Zach Britton then allowed a one-out single to Davis and walked Overbay, but pinch hitter Irving Falu hit into a game-ending double play.

This was a pretty good game throughout, with a pair of early lead changes and career days from a player on each team (4 for 4 with a double, a homer, and a walk for Khris Davis, and Jonathan Schoop's first multi-homer outing) to lean on. But it was really made by the ninth and tenth innings, as the Orioles tied the score, the Brewers put the winning run at third with one out and couldn't bring it in, the Orioles took the lead, and the Brewers put the tying run at second with one out and again couldn't bring it in. That is a terrific two innings of baseball, and it pushes this contest ahead of a simultaneous 12-inning game with startling ease.

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