After having a pretty bad homestand last week against teams who had records below .500, the Baltimore Orioles rebounded nicely with a 4-1 win over the San Diego Padres with center fielder Adam Jones going 4-4 with two RBI, including a home run which was his 23rd of the year.
Jones swinging the bat well in his hometown may be just what the doctor ordered for the O’s to get back on the right track, and there were plenty of O’s fans in which Jones made it a point to address.
“The coolest part of it was the ‘O!’ during the national anthem,” noted Jones, via Espn.com. “There were a lot of guys down the third-base line, and they screamed right in our ear. I think it shocked us a little bit and got us going a little bit. That’s cool.”
The O’s improved to 62-51 and are currently 1.5 games back of the second AL Wild Card spot. The O’s also got solid contributions out of starting pitcher Bud Norris who only allowed five hits and one earned run.
It’s cliché for me to say this, but it’s the truth when I say the O’s are going to need those type of contributions from their starting pitchers like Norris had last night. And you could make the case that the O’s need it more than any other legitimate contending playoff team in the AL. They don’t have balance in their starting rotation, and their bullpen is inconsistent.
Reliever Darren O’Day could have two good games in a row and get shelled in the third game. Closer Jim Johnson is unpredictable as he leads MLB in saves with 39, but he’s also tied for second in MLB in blown saves with six. The O’s are just going with what they have at this point, and they aren’t sure if they will get much more than what they have seen from the starting rotation and the bullpen.
But hopefully for the Orioles, last night’s win against the Padres can be a start of a nice run in the next 10 games against NL opponents because they start a 15 game stretch against teams in the AL in which the worst team in that stretch is only six games back of the second AL Wild Card spot.