On May 30th, Adam Jones’ career-high 20-game hitting streak came to an end. Between that game and Friday’s first game of the Orioles/Phillies series, Jones had gone 5-for-30 with just 1 RBI. He went hitless in his first 4 at bats Saturday, leaving 4 runners on base in so doing. In the final of his 6 at bats, though, Jones made O’s fans forget those struggles, blasting a 2-run homer, and giving the O’s a 6-4, walk off win in 12 innings.
Tommy Hunter was officially recalled to start against the Phils, and though he surrendered 3 home runs, he turned in a quality start, throwing 7 innings, yielding 8 hits including the 3 solo homers, striking out 2 and allowing no walks.
Hunter, who’s had problems with elevating his pitches, has now given up 16 home runs 63 innings. Despite the home runs to Jimmy Rollins, Jim Thome, and Hector Luna, Hunter was in a position to pick up his first win since April 24 when he was lifted to start the 8th.
With the game tied at 3, J.J. Hardy drew a 1-out walk in the bottom of the 7th. A bloop hit from Chris Davis moved Hardy to 2nd, and 1 out later, Matt Wieters knocked Hardy in with a hit to right, giving the birds a 4-3 lead.
Pedro Strop entered in the top of the 8th. After retiring Rollins, Strop gave up 3 consecutive singles to Juan Pierre, Hunter Pence, and Thome, to tie things back up at 4. Strop was able to escape further damage, despite Robert Andino’s 9th error of the season, when Ty Wigginton bounced into a 6-4-3 double play.
In the bottom of the 12th, BJ Rosenberg, who was making his big league debut, walked Davis to lead off. Jones stepped in, and drove an 0-1 breaking ball into the Orioles bullpen for the walk off, 6-4 win. The Orioles and Phillies will play the rubber match of the series tomorrow afternoon at 1:35. Jason Hammel will try to improve to 7-2, as he battles Cliff Lee, who is 0-3, but with an ERA under 3.
- The Orioles took advantage of 3 Phillies errors in the birds 2-run 4th inning.
- Hunter’s ability to work through the 7th was huge, especially considering the move of Friday’s starter, Jake Arrieta, to the bullpen. Obviously, Arrieta would not have been able to pitch today. An early exit by Hunter could have had long-lasting ripple effects on the pen.
- With the exception of Strop, the pen again did the job. Jim Johnson, Darren O’Day, and Luis Ayala combined for 4 innings of 1-hit, shutout baseball.
- The Orioles have never really had an answer for Jim Thome, and this series has been no exception, Saturday, the 41-year old went 2-4 with 2 runs scored, and his 1st home run of the year (career HR # 605).