A game that was so boring for so long, became a lot of fun in the end.
Stop me if you've heard this one, R.A. Dickey was terrific for 5 innings. He only allowed 2 hits and no walks through 5 innings. He looked great. All would be good, he's back in the dome.
And then came the 6th.
The popup double, to start the inning, wasn't his fault. The ball dropped between Melky Cabrera and Jose Reyes and it looked like each figured the other would go catch it. It was one of those moments that seemed to happen so often last year, but, we hoped, wouldn't happen this year. It all began to unravel from there. R.A. walked Nick Markakis and then gave up a 3-run homer to Nelson Cruz. After two quick outs, R.A. walked two and hit one batter, to load the bases, but thankfully got a strikeout to finally end the inning.
We were lucky that Baltimore had their own little fielding mishap to start the bottom of the 6th, a Steve Lombardozzi error to put Melky on base and, then, after a Jose Bautista single, Edwin Encarnacion tied the game with a bomb to center field. It was such a relief to see Edwin finally homer.
So, with a newly tied game, one would have imagined that R.A. would have a very very short leash, going into the 7th. I figured, let him start the inning and then pull him with the first baserunner. But, Steve Lombardozzi singles to start the inning, and Gibby leaves Dickey out there. Then Nick Markakis hits a ground rule double, giving the O's runners on second and third. Gibby takes RA out but I thought it was too late.
Amazing, neither runner would score. Neil Wagner came in and got Nelson Cruz to ground out. Then Gibby brought Brett Cecil in. Brett walked Chris Davis to load the bases but followed that with strikeouts to Adam Jones and Steve Clevenger. I don't know why Buck Showalter didn't pinch hit for the lefty catcher, Clevenger, but I'm glad he didn't.
After Steve Delabar pitched a quick 8th inning, we got a pair of 3-run homers, in the bottom of the inning: Brett Lawrie hit his 4th homer of the season and Melky Cabrera had his 5th.
We had 9 hits on the day, 2 each for Juan Francisco (who has looked really good since coming up from Buffalo) and Josh Thole (who is making me forget that I wanted Erik Kratz to get the job). Everyone else in the starting lineup had 1 hit except for Colby Rasmus (who walked twice) and Ryan Goins (who was 0 for 2 before being pinch hit for by Jonathan Diaz.
Let's just underline that part, we used Jonathan Diaz as a pinch hitter today. Alex, you have got to do something about our bench. We can't be using Diaz as a pinch hitter.
Diaz's bat might be lacking but he does have a great glove, if you missed him starting the double play in the 8th, go check out the video.
There was also another interesting moment, Gibby had the umpires check Orioles' starter Miguel Gonzalez' glove for illegal substances. Miguel seemed to be touching the thumb of the glove before most pitches. The umpires didn't find anything. After the sunscreen and grease in the hair of Clay Buchholz, last year, went without anyone protesting, I find it funny that a spot on a glove would get that much attention.
Jays of the Day are Cecil (.236 WPA), Encarnacion (.199), Lawrie (.154) and Delabar (.110). I'm going to give honorable mention to Neil Wagner (hard to a JoD to a pitcher for getting just one out, but it was one big out), Bautista (for his 1 for 3, plus 2 walks) and Melky (for his 3 run homer, but his allowing that popup to fall to the ground cost him the JoD).
Suckage goes to Dickey (-.279) and Reyes (-.112 for his 1 for 5).
I doubt there have been many games in baseball history where the two teams combined for 12 runs and all the runs were scored on 3-run homers. The win puts the Jays 2 games above .500 again. We are second in the AL East, 1 game back of the Yankees. Last year, after 20 games we were 8-12, so 11-9 seems so much better.
Our GameThread had a healthy 822 comments. T-Ball led that way, with 99, showing that extra effort needed for a come from behind win.