The Baltimore Orioles responded to their toughest road trip of the season by winning all five games of their latest home stand much to the delight of the Baltimore faithful at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
After going north and losing their first series of the season by dropping two of three from the red-hot New York Yankees they had to fight the fans, umpires and nearly the players as they split a four game series with the Boston Red Sox.
Happy to be home after a dramatic series with Boston that featured bean balls, a cry of “this means war” from a starting pitcher and racial slurs, the Orioles were more than happy to be at Camden Yards in front of their home fans.
The friendly fan support empowered the Orioles as the swept three from the Chicago White Sox and two from their cross town rival the Washington Nationals in the Battle of the Beltways.
At the end of their home series, Baltimore had the best record in baseball at 22-10.
After taking the first game from Washington 6-4, they rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the ninth in the second game to tie the contest and win it in the 12th 5-4 on a bases loaded walk off single by slugger Mark Trumbo who was mobbed by his teammates as they celebrated the victory.
Facing Washington ace Max Scherzer who struck out 11 in eight innings of work, Baltimore countered with erratic Ubaldo Jimenez who struck out six and allowed five hits while walking two in 7.2 innings of work.
Down 4-1 in the eighth, Adam Jones hit a home run making the score 4-2 and igniting the comeback.
In the bottom of the ninth, second baseman Jonathan Schoop hit a double that brought in Trumbo making the score 4-3. Shortstop J.J. Hardy then plated pinch-runner Craig Gentry with a clutch single up the middle and the crowd went wild as the game was now tied 4-4 setting up Trumbo’s heroics in the 12th inning.
In the first game of the Washington series Baltimore got an immediate lead at 4-0 in the first on homers from lead-off hitter Joey Rickard, Trumbo and a two-run bomb from rookie sensation Trey “Boom Boom” Mancini who now has seven home runs and 20 R.B.I. while hitting .293. He has been a big spark in the bottom of the lineup for the club.
Washington starter Gio Gonzalez who began the game with a (3-0) record and an ERA under two never recovered.
Meanwhile, Oriole’s starter Kevin Gausman (2-3) who had been struggling with his mechanics found his delivery. He struck out eight walked one and allowed five hits and two runs in seven innings of work.
Up 6-0 Baltimore endured a Washington late rally that included a double in the ninth by former Oriole catcher Matt Wieters, who got a standing ovation on his return to Baltimore, making the score 6-4.
With closer Zach Britton on the DL Brad Brach overcame a shaky ninth to record his eighth save of the season.
The New York series saw the Birds surrender a 9-1 lead and lose 14-11. That was the biggest blown-lead in club history. In the series in Boston, the Red Sox were still upset about a slide that third baseman Manny Machado had that injured Dustin Pedroia in Baltimore.
They reacted by throwing at Machado’s head in Baltimore and the teams then exchanged hitting batters which carried over into the Fenway Park series. After Mookie Betts was hit Boston’s starter Chris Sales screamed “this is war.” On top of that Oriole’s All-Star Jones had to endure racial slurs.
The Boston governor and mayor apologized for the unkind words spoken to Jones who also had a bag of peanuts hurled at him.
Baltimore was never so happy to get out of Beantown and it showed.