There’s no stopping the Orioles’ offense. After Max Scherzer appeared poised to improve to 8-0 last night, the Orioles came roaring back for four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning against Jose Valverde to secure a dramatic 7-5 walk-off victory.
Nick Markakis led off the inning with a solo homer and was followed by back-to-back singles by Adam Jones and Chris Davis. Valverde battled back and got both Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy on pop-ups, but Chris Dickerson played hero for Baltimore by depositing a three-run homer into the right field seats to win it.
Through the first two months of the season, the Orioles lead the majors in both runs scored and home runs. If they could acquire an arm to bolster their rotation (maybe someone like the Cubs’ Matt Garza?), they’d really be in business.
Your Friday box scores:
Diamondbacks 2, Cubs 7
Red Sox 1, Yankees 4
Reds 6, Pirates 0
Rays 9, Indians 2
Brewers 8, Phillies 5
Mets 1, Marlins 5
Royals 2, Rangers 7
Nationals 3, Braves 2
Mariners 3, Twins 0
White Sox 0, Athletics 3
Dodgers 7, Rockies 5 (10 innings)
Astros 6, Angels 3
Blue Jays 3, Padres 4 (17 innings)
Giants/Cardinals – postponed
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.