TRUMBO HOMER LIFTS O'S

Slug­ger de­liv­ers in 12th in­ning to give Ori­oles 3-2 vic­tory, end­ing team's los­ing streak

Baltimore Sun - - FRONT PAGE - By Jon Me­oli

The Ori­oles were run­ning out of ex­cuses and run­ning out of time. If any­one was go­ing to save their play­off chances and re­verse a slide as sud­den as it was stu­pe­fy­ing, they had to do it them­selves.

It’s hard to say that the ma­jor league home run lead­ers hit­ting three long balls late in the game to avoid de­feat is im­prob­a­ble, but it was. The Ori­oles were dead for most of eight in­nings Fri­day and erased a late deficit to beat the Ari­zona Di­a­mond­backs, 3-2, in 12 in­nings.

The de­cid­ing run came on right fielder Mark Trumbo’s ma­jor league-lead­ing 44th home run of the sea­son to open the bot­tom of the 12th in­ning, sav­ing a game the Ori­oles were trail­ing un­til the

ninth in­ning.

Des­ig­nated hit­ter Pe­dro Al­varez halved a 2-0 deficit with one out in the eighth in­ning with his 22nd home run of the sea­son. Catcher Matt Wi­eters, who en­tered the day with the dis­tinc­tion of be­ing the least pro­duc­tive hit­ter in their lineup of late, hit a 3-2 pitch from closer Daniel Hudson onto the right-field flag court to tie it at two to open the ninth.

Leave it to the Ori­oles to stay their ex­e­cu­tion. If they had lost a fifth straight to fall eight games be­hind the divi­sion-lead­ing Bos­ton Red Sox with eight to play and drop far­ther back in the wild-card race, it would have been be­cause of the bats.

The list of ra­tio­nal­iza­tions was with­er­ing away. It wasn’t Bos­ton’s ro­ta­tion, which has been among the league’s best in the sec­ond half, that shut them down. This was Shelby Miller, the on­ce­promis­ing right-han­der who en­tered the game with a 6.90 ERA and al­lowed three hits in six shutout in­nings.

It wasn’t a lack of en­ergy from the stands, which ear­lier this week had plenty of Red Sox fans and empty seats. On Fri­day, 37,815 fans were an­nounced as paid at­ten­dance, rep­re­sent­ing the largest an­nounced at­ten­dance at Cam­den Yards in one month.

They came, swad­dled in their free Hyun Soo Kim T-shirts, cheered on cue, and booed through­out the mid­dle in­nings as the Ori­oles left run­ners on the bases with reg­u­lar­ity.

And it wasn’t start­ing pitch­ing — Yo­vani Gal­lardo had his best start in a month, hold­ing Ari­zona to two runs on six hits in six in­nings.

Fri­day’s loom­ing loss, on track to be the worst of the sea­son given the cir­cum­stances, would have been a mat­ter of missed op­por­tu­ni­ties at the plate. The of­fense had worn a lot of the blame since this home­s­tand be­gan, one that went eight games with the team av­er­ag­ing 2.9 runs per game without much power. Even worse was when they did get chances to score, they never cap­i­tal­ized. For seven in­nings, Fri­day fit that mold.

In the first in­ning, Miller loaded the bases but struck out Al­varez look­ing. Chris Davis walked and moved to third on a double by Trumbo with one out in the sixth, but Al­varez and Jonathan Schoop popped out. A two-out walk by Kim, then a fast­ball that hit Adam Jones’ bi­ceps put two on for Manny Machado with two outs in the sev­enth, but he struck out.

The tow­er­ing home run Al­varez hit in the eighth was con­so­la­tion, but came with the bases empty. When the Ori­oles did put men on, and push them into scor­ing po­si­tion, they started 0for-5 be­fore Jones pulled one into left field with short­stop J.J. Hardy on sec­ond in the ninth in­ning.

Hardy was thrown out at home from short left field, then Machado walked, but Davis struck out swing­ing to send it to ex­tra in­nings. They kept get­ting chances af­ter six shutout in­nings of re­lief by a cadre of six re­liev­ers, but man­aged to strand the bases loaded in the11th in­ning too be­fore Trumbo ended it.

NICK WASS/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Ori­oles start­ing pitcher Yo­vani Gal­lardo al­lowed two runs on six hits in six in­nings and left the game with a 2-0 deficit. The Ori­oles’ win­ning run came on Mark Trumbo’s league-lead­ing 44th home run of the sea­son.

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