Reimold de­liv­ers pinch-hit, walk-off HR as O’s sweep In­di­ans

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By JOR­DAN SCHATZ

jschatz@ce­cil­whig.com

— The Bal­ti­more Ori­oles walked off Sun­day af­ter­noon and se­cured the top record in the Amer­i­can League in the process.

Nolan Reimold con­nected for a pinch-hit, twoout, two-run home run in the bot­tom of the ninth to break a tie and de­liver the Ori­oles a thrilling 5-3 vic­tory and com­plete the three-game sweep of the Cleve­land In­di­ans at Cam­den Yards.

With the win, Bal­ti­more (57-40) jumped Cleve­land (56-41) for the top mark in the AL.

“I fig­ured he would try to throw a fast­ball there and I was ready for it in case he did,” said Reimold, who de­posited a 2-0 fast­ball from closer Cody Allen over the left field wall. “I was glad it was in a big mo­ment.”

Af­ter Pe­dro Alverez led off the bot­tom of the ninth

BAL­TI­MORE

in­ning by reach­ing base on a dropped third strike and throw­ing er­ror by the catcher, Ryan Fla­herty ad­vanced the run­ner to sec­ond base on a sac­ri­fice bunt, be­fore Caleb Joseph struck out swing­ing.

Ori­oles man­ager Buck Showal­ter then pinch-hit the right-handed bat­ting Reimold for left-handed bat­ter Julio Bor­bon de­spite Allen be­ing a righthanded thrower. “I was ac­tu­ally pretty sur­prised [to get the call to pinch hit],” Reimold said. “I was down un­der­neath ready to pinch run in case he wanted to do that. I wasn’t re­ally ex­pect­ing to hit with the righty out there but I’m glad he did pinch hit me.”

Reimold’s blast, his fifth of the year, marked the fourth walk-off vic­tory for the Ori­oles this sea­son. It also rep­re­sented the first pinch-hit walk-off home run for Bal­ti­more since Chris Davis con- nected for a game-win­ning, three-run home run in a 6-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on June 23, 2014.

“Nor­mally, I prob­a­bly would have had [Reimold] pinch run for [Alverez] there. And if Caleb would have walked we would have stayed with the [faster] Bor­bon to stay out of the dou­ble play,” Showal­ter said. “I think the key to it was lay­ing off the two break­ing balls and get­ting into a hit­ter’s count where you can get the fast­ball.”

The ninth in­ning hero­ics backed a strong out­ing by start­ing pitcher Vance Wor­ley, who earned a node­ci­sion af­ter he threw a sea­son-high seven in­nings, al­low­ing two runs on five hits with three walks and three strike­outs.

He walked off the mound with a one-run lead af­ter Jonathan Schoop put the Ori­oles ahead, 3-2, one in­ning prior with a solo home run to left field. Wor­ley re­tired the fi­nal 11 bat­ters he faced and out-du­eled In­di­ans ace Corey Klu­ber, who en­tered with nine wins and a 3.42 ERA.

“Wor­ley was the story of the day,” Showal­ter said. “He was out­stand­ing.”

Wor­ley, mak­ing his sec­ond con­sec­u­tive start af­ter be­ing added to the ro­ta­tion from the bullpen, tossed a sea­son­high 102 pitches, of which 66 were for strikes. It proved to be a much stronger show­ing than his pre­vi­ous out­ing when he lasted just 4 1-3 in­nings in an even­tual 7-1 loss to the New York Yan­kees on July 19.

“I’m hap­pier with it than the last out­ing. I was able to go a lit­tle deeper and uti­lize all my pitches today and rely on my de­fense be­hind me. Over­all it was a good team win,” Wor­ley said. “I was able to use all my pitches to both sides and feel con­fi­dent in all of them. I think today we threw more curve­balls and more change­ups to keep guys off bal­anced in­stead of fast­balls and cut­ters.”

Wor­ley’s ef­fort con­tin­ued a strong sec­ond-half for the Ori­oles’ ma­ligned start­ing ro­ta­tion, which posted a 5-4 record with a 2.94 ERA over the pre­vi­ous 11 games prior to Sun­day.

The In­di­ans even­tu­ally tied the game one in­ning af­ter Wor­ley de­parted when they scored an un­earned run off re­liever Brad Brach in the top of the eighth. Af­ter Ja­son Kip­nis led off with a sin­gle and Lin­dor reached on a fielder’s choice and er­ror by Schoop to put two run­ners on base, Mike Napoli de­liv­ered a run-scor­ing sin­gle to left field. How­ever, Brach got the next bat­ter to fly out, be­fore in­duc­ing Lon­nie Chisen­hall (2-for-4) to ground into an in­ning-end­ing dou­ble play.

Ori­oles re­liever Dar­ren O’Day, in his re­turn from a long stay on the dis­abled list, struck out the side in the top of the ninth to keep the game tied and set the stage for Reimold’s home run.

Af­ter both starters traded ze­ros for three in­nings, both teams scored twice in the fourth. The In­di­ans jumped on the board when Jose Ramirez walked and Chisen­hall sin­gled with no outs. Rookie Tyler Naquin later plated Ramirez with a one-out dou­ble to left field, be­fore Roberto Perez de­liv­ered a sac­ri­fice fly to tie the game.

Bal­ti­more then found the score­board when Schoop led off of the bot­tom of frame with a dou­ble, be­fore scor­ing on a sin­gle by Manny Machado up the mid­dle. The Ori­oles then knot­ted the score when Machado, who even­tu­ally ad­vanced to third, crossed the plate on a fielder’s choice ground out by Alverez.

Alverez, the des­ig­nated hit­ter, was orig­i­nally called out at first base on the back­end of an in­ning-end­ing dou­ble play, but a man­ager’s chal­lenge re­vealed he touched first be­fore the ball hit the back of the fielder’s glove, al­low­ing the run to score and the in­ning to con­tinue.

“Ob­vi­ously, wins are huge,” Alverez said. “Against a good team like Cleve­land, those were huge wins.”

Fol­low Jor­dan Schatz on Twit­ter: @Jor­dan_Whig

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