For the Orioles, Monday night’s game was their 160th of 2011. While the contest may have not had much impact on their place in the standings, it may have meant more than that for Baltimore.
With only two games left in the season, fans at Camden Yards may have seen more good than bad with the Black and Orange. The good news is that they no doubt came to play against their rival – the Red Sox, who are now seriously hanging for dear life in the playoff hunt.
The Orioles had a chance to play spoiler – for the second time in as many weeks – against the Red Sox. Instead of trolling out a lineup full of Triple-A and Four-A guys, the Orioles pretty much had all their regulars in the lineup and defeated the Red Sox, 6-3.
They put the game away in the sixth inning as Robert Andino had a three-run inside the park homer that Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury dropped after an amazing, improbable over-the-back catch.
Andino’s inside-the-park was the first by an Oriole since 2010, and the first ever at Camden Yards. They jumped on Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett – who had been doing fairly well up to that point – and made him pay.
Could that moment serve as the epitaph of the Red Sox season? With the Tampa Bay victory tonight, all bets are off now as both teams are tied in the American League Wild Card hunt.
What a game by the Orioles. They have sure added a ton of drama in the final week in the sport of baseball. Boston had a golden chance – with the bases loaded in the eighth – to come within striking distance of Baltimore’s lead; however, reliever Pedro Strop got his team out of a jam.
Of course, the Orioles added some torture to finish off the game in the ninth inning. Jim Johnson – who came in to finish up the game – hit Ellsbury to start the game, committed a balk and allowed back-to-back hits to Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz. Ellsbury scored in the frame; however, Johnson got Adrian Gonzalez to flyout and fanned Jed Lowrie to end the contest.