That easy, huh?
Fresh off a three-game sweep of the Angels, the Orioles won in walkoff fashion for the second consecutive night Friday, defeating the White Sox 2-1 in 10 innings. Adam Jones played hero this time, delivering an RBI single to secure the victory.
New skipper Buck Showalter is 4-0 to begin his tenure in Baltimore while the four-game winning streak matches a season-high for the club.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun that he’s not surprised the Orioles are playing better under Showalter.
“Those guys are going to play better for him for some reason. Buck is
the type of guy who demands players, day in and day out, to play good
baseball,” Guillen said. “He only takes that job for a reason. He takes
that job because he’s a guy who maybe, hopefully can put those guys back
where they want to be.”
I only have my own experience to back this up, but I’ve found that the hiring of a new manager can often lead to a temporary spark, even for the worst of ballclubs. The Orioles have taken a rather significant step back this season, but they aren’t completely hopeless. They still have the same young talent they had a year ago. Let’s see if Showalter can make something out of them.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.