Jonathan Schoop hit a solo homer in the second inning after his
teammates put up four in the first inning and the Orioles held on
for a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
The win gave Baltimore (80-57) a 9 1/2-game lead over the New York
Yankees in the American League East. Boston beat the Yankees, 9-4,
earlier in the night.
The Orioles batted through two rain delays, one that lasted 23
minutes before the game began and another which stretched out for 1
hour, 46 minutes in the top of the first inning.
They also saw starter Bud Norris (12-8) take a liner off his leg and
then come back and pitch six shutout innings after the long delay.
"I'm really happy with the win tonight," Norris said. "Big team
effort, hard to do, late night like this. But when the team grinds
it out like this, it speaks a lot."
Set-up man Darren O'Day gave up a late grand slam, and the Orioles
nearly lost their lead in the ninth before second baseman Schoop
made a slick 4-3 game-ending double play.
Baltimore scored four runs thanks to five first-inning singles, as
right fielder Nelson Cruz, first baseman Chris Davis and catcher
Caleb Joseph all had RBI singles with third baseman Jimmy Paredes
driving in a run with a grounder to second.
Schoop led off the second with his home run off Cincinnati starter
Mat Latos (5-4) for the quick 5-0 lead. The score stayed there until
the Reds rallied for four runs on right fielder Jay Bruce's grand
slam off O'Day in the eighth.
The Reds put runners on first and third with one out in the ninth
off closer Zach Britton. The left-hander then got first baseman Todd
Frazier to ground to Schoop, and the second baseman quickly tagged
speedy center fielder Billy Hamilton and threw to first to finish
the game-ending double-play.
"As a baserunner, you absolutely cannot be tagged there," Reds
manager Price said. "It's the only way they are going to turn two in
that situation. It's those things you got to learn from. It's the
only thing you can pull out of a game like this. I hope this is the
only time we got to learn that lesson."
The play stood up under review, and the Orioles had their win, even
though the last two innings proved unusually shaky.
"It was a win," Cruz said. "It wasn't that pretty at end, but it was
a win. Everybody's doing whatever they can, and they did a good
The effort of Norris proved to be a cornerstone in this win.
[to top of second column]
He got out of a jam after center fielder Billy Hamilton lined a single off
his leg to start the game. There was a delay then when Hamilton and
umpire Mike DiMuro collided behind the bag. DiMuro left the game.
Hamilton then stole second to set a new team record for steals by a
rookie (55). After the delay, Norris came out and saw Joseph throw out
Hamilton trying to steal third. The pitcher then got the next two
batters to end the inning.
"That was pretty impressive to go out there," Orioles manager Buck
Showalter said. "One of the keys to the game was that inning. We seemed
to get momentum out of that."
The Orioles then scored four runs on five singles in the first off
Latos. Cruz and Davis started things with back-to-back RBI singles to
make it 2-0.
A third run scored on a ground out from Paredes -- where Cincinnati
second baseman Brandon Phillips made a diving stop -- before Joseph
drove in the last run with an RBI single.
Schoop then added his solo homer in the second.
NOTES: Orioles manager Buck Showalter said SS J.J. Hardy (lower back
spasms) is improving and could be ready to start in the second game of
the series Wednesday. Showalter pulled Hardy late in Monday's loss to
the Twins because of the injury. ... When INF Kelly Johnson makes his
Orioles debut, he'll become the first player to play for all five teams
in the current American League East, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
... Reds manager Bryan Price said RHP Homer Bailey had another MRI that
showed his elbow problems hadn't improved much and a return this season
wasn't likely. That's why the team put him on the 60-day disabled list
this week. ... Reds 2B Brandon Phillips came into Tuesday's game with a
94-game error-less streak, the longest from a major leaguer at that
position this season.
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.