What happened Thursday night in a 7-5 victory against the Boston Red Sox is what has to happen for the Orioles to be a contender all season.
What happened Thursday night is the blueprint for this team’s success.
The Orioles hit four homers – one each by Mark Trumbo, Chris Davis, Adam Jones and Jonathan Schoop – to account for all seven runs.
They received a strong, deep performance from starting pitcher Wade Miley and the defense did its part.
That’s how it is supposed to work when it works well for the Orioles.
“Everybody knows what this offense is capable of doing. It definitely takes a lot of pressure off the pitching staff, but we still have to go out and do our jobs,” Miley said. “That’s when you get on a roll, when the pitchers are pitching good and we’re swinging the bats like we’re swinging right now. I mean, the opportunity is there.”
OK, so there was a hiccup in the ninth when Mike Wright and Donnie Hart combined to allow four runs and make the game much closer than it should have been.
The bottom line, though, is the Orioles won again against a division rival, upping their record against the AL East to 20-11.
“We gotta win these games to play in the postseason. These games are very important,” Miley said. “Obviously, you want to get up for every game, and yeah, these are extra important.”
Yes, you’d prefer more manufacturing of runs overall, but hitting them were they can’t be caught – as manager Buck Showalter says – is perfectly fine when you do it four times, and a couple of those come with runners on base (Trumbo’s was a two-run shot and Schoop’s a three-run homer). All seven Orioles’ runs scored via the homer.
“It’s not necessarily where you draw up home runs. It’s just you’re going to have to score runs in our division,” Showalter said. “We were 6-4 in our division in May. 20-11 for the year. There’s not a recipe every night. It may sound that way when you take the body of work. That’s the way it may look over the course of a season, and rightfully so, but it doesn’t always work that way.”
It worked that way Thursday. And, somehow, some way, the Orioles have now won three out of four after their sky had fallen last week and they appeared to have forgotten how to hit or pitch.
That’s baseball. And pounding the baseball over the wall is Orioles baseball. We’ve seen it before. And when it works, when the pitching and power come together, it’s a combination tough to beat.
“It kind of reminds me of last year a lot. We obviously did pretty well,” Trumbo said. “When everyone is kind of in a good place, that’s the kind of offense you’re going to see.”