TRUMBO HOMER LIFTS O'S
Slugger delivers in 12th inning to give Orioles 3-2 victory, ending team's losing streak
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
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.
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.