The Orioles fell one run short in their comeback attempt Thursday, but they managed to get it done last night against the Tigers, coming from six runs down for an 8-7 victory at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
After Wei-Yin Chen was knocked out of the game early, the Orioles chipped away with one run in the fourth inning and four in the fifth, including a three-run homer from Adam Jones. Manny Machado then gave the Orioles the lead in the sixth with a two-run homer. Chris Davis delivered an RBI single later on in the frame, which proved to be the difference in the ballgame.
With the win, the Orioles improved to 52-50 on the year and sit just one game back in what promises to be a crazy Wild Card race in the American League. Seven teams are within five games of the Twins right now.
Your Friday box scores and AP recaps:
Tigers 7, Orioles 8
Braves 3, Phillies 9
Royals 6, Blue Jays 7 (11 innings)
Pirates 5, Reds 4
Rays 5, Red Sox 7
Nationals 1, Mets 2 (12 innings)
Yankees 13, White Sox 6
Padres 8, Marlins 3 (11 innings)
Mariners 6, Twins 1
Cubs 4, Brewers 1
Indians 2, Athletics 1
Rockies 0, Cardinals 7
Giants 3, Rangers 6
Diamondbacks 6, Astros 4 (10 innings)
Angels 3, Dodgers 5
Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.
Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.
Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.
On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.