The Baltimore Orioles took two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays and went 4-2 on their latest home stand good enough to keep them in first in the AL East much to the delight of the home crowd at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
After taking two of three from the Boston Red Sox the Orioles are now 6-0-1 in series this season.
As the first month of the season comes to a close they are in first place in the division with a record of 14-6 good enough for the best record in the AL. The New York Yankees are in second at (13-7) and the Red Sox are in third place at (11-10).
After splitting the first two games with Tampa, the Orioles won the series final 5-4 on a walk off walk by Seth Smith.
The O’s were down 4-3 in the 11th but rallied behind a Jonathan Schoop sacrifice fly and a bases loaded walk by Smith. The Orioles celebrated by splashing water on a smiling Smith.
Smith was also involved in a crazy play in the second inning when his single to center was followed by two throwing errors by the Rays that allowed a running Ryan Flaherty to score and Smith to touch all four bases for an error-prone inside the park home run and an Oriole’s 3-0 lead.
The Rays would rally to tie the score and set up the exciting finish.
Oriole’s starter Dylan Bundy allowed four hits, struck out three, walked two and allowed two runs in 6.1 innings of work.
Baltimore’s reliable bullpen allowed two runs but the Orioles were able to overcome that with a heroic extra innings victory.
Down, 4-3 after the Rays took the lead in the top of the 11th Chris Davis started off the bottom of the 11th with a single. With one out catcher Welington Castillo singled on a line drive to left to put men on first and second. Hyun Soo Kim drew a walk to load the bases. Schoop then hit his sac fly to plate Davis tying the score at 4-4 setting up Smith’s walk-off walk to bring in the winning run.
In the first game of the Tampa series the O’s rallied from a 3-1 fifth inning deficit to win 6-3. Sixth inning homers by Schoop and Kim tied the game and the Birds took the lead on a two-run homer by Adam Jones in the eighth inning.
Oriole’s starter Ubaldo Jimenez was ineffective and walked five and gave up three runs in 3.1 innings of work. The Bullpen came to the rescue and shut out the Rays while recording seven strikeouts.
In the middle game of the series the O’s bats went quiet as they were two-hit and shut out for the first time this season 2-0.
Starter Wade Miley (1-1) deserved a better fate. He struck out eight walked six and allowed four hits and two runs in seven innings of work.