Jones scores on wild play as O’s walk-off for 2nd straight game
— The Baltimore Orioles are making dramatic victories a habit.
Adam Jones broke from third and scored on a comebacker to the mound to deliver the Orioles a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies in 10 innings at Camden Yards on Monday, securing the team’s secondstraight walk-off win in as many contests.
After Jonathan Schoop moved Jones from first to third on a one-out single to right field, three-hole hitter Manny Machado chopped the first pitch he saw back to pitcher Jordan Lyles. Jones, freezing initially, darted for home when Lyles mishan-
dled the ball, and slid across the plate for the winning run as the pitcher’s throw to catcher Nick Hundley came in wildly and skipped away.
“I couldn’t tell you [if Hundley held onto the ball]. You can see it from the replay, I was running,” Jones said. “You play until the last out is made. It doesn’t matter how you score. As long as you win, it doesn’t matter.”
The play proved possible after the electric center fielder raced to third on Schoop’s opposite-field single that lightly bounded past the infielders, who were playing at double play depth.
“It’s called pride,” Jones said. “Play the game hard, man. It was a situation where you needed a guy on third base and I [busted] my tail to get there.”
It came on the same night that Jones (1-for-4) also drove in a pair of runs to move past Rafael Palmeiro for seventh all-time in club history with 702 RBIs. His first run-scoring hit—a single that triggered the milestone—scored J.J. Hardy to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
He later drove in Nolan Reimold on a ground ball to shortstop that tied the game, 2-2, in the seventh inning.
“It was a great baserunning play [to score]. He and [third base coach] Bobby [Dickerson] talk about it. Anything they can turn two on, you’ve got to go. You’ve got to sacrifice one at the plate to continue the inning,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Adam takes a lot of pride in being an all-around player, and he is.”
The victory came one day after Reimold connected for a pinch-hit, two-out, tworun home run that gave the first-place Orioles (58-40) a walk-off win over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday afternoon. It marked the team’s fifth straight victory after losing four in a row.
“It’s good to get a win any way you can get it this time a year,” Showalter said.
Baltimore starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo produced a second extended start in as many outings, throwing 6 2-3 innings and departing with the game tied. He walked off the mound having allowed two earned runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
“I felt good. I was able to get some ground balls whenever I needed to and got out of trouble. I think that’s always a positive sign,” said Gallardo, who prior to Monday, threw seven frames in an eventual loss to the New York Yankees on July 20. “Even my last start in New York, it felt pretty good, and once again today.”
Gallardo allowed a solo home run to Nolan Arenado that tied the game in the fourth inning. He then let the Rockies take the momentary lead in the seventh when they scored on backto-back singles with two outs.
After Carlos Gonzalez walked to lead off the seventh and Trevor Story flew out to left, Gallardo picked off Gonzalez at first while rookie David Dahl stood in the batter’s box. Dahl, making his Major League debut, then singled on a 3-2 pitch into center field for his first career hit and later advanced to second on a wild pitch, before scoring on a single up the middle by Mark Reynolds.
The Orioles wasted little time battling back. With one out in the bottom of the frame, Reimold reached on a hit by pitch and moved to third on a double down the left field line by Dariel Alverez. Jones then followed with a hit to the right side of the drawn-in shortstop to tie the game.
Orioles reliever Mychal Givens (two strikeouts) sat down the four batters he faced across the seventh and eighth innings, while closer Zach Britton threw a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts. Chaz Roe (10) then entered and threw the 10th for the Orioles, escaping unscathed despite allowing Daniel Descalso to reach on a two-out single, before advancing to second on a wild pitch.
Follow Jordan Schatz on Twitter: @Jordan_Whig
The offseason contract extension signed by place-kicker Justin Tucker and the return of Pro Bowl punter Sam Koch provides little drama on the special teams side of things. However, the battle for return specialist will likely not be decided until the season opener.
Campanaro and Reynolds will compete with Kaelin Clay—who returned an 82-yard punt for a touchdown against the Browns last November—for primary returner duties.
Follow Jordan Schatz on Twitter: @Jordan_Whig