Orioles Victory Number 17: 2-0 over the Tampa Bay Rays
Hey, hey David Hess. Have yourself a ballgame. The rookie went 6.2 innings and didn't allow a run. He bounced back nicely from his last outing in Boston where he wasn't able to make it past the fifth inning and now has two wins in his three starts this year. It looks like he's locked down the fifth spot in the rotation for the near future. Not bad for a fifth round draft pick.
It was a close game all night long. The Birds jumped out to the lead against Sergio Romo, the on-paper starter for the Rays, when Danny Valencia doubled in Adam Jones. From there it was all Hess as he worked his way through the Rays line-up pitching around four hits and three walks to pick up the victory.
There was one moment that it looked like the Rays might tie it up. Its one of those weird innings that always seem to go against a team stuck in a rut. In the fifth inning, with the Os up by one, Mallex Smith led off the inning with a walk. Then Hess committed a balk. Still not quite sure what he did as his motion seemed exactly the same as every other one he did with runners on base. With Smith on second Hess tried to pick him off and Jonathan Schoop whiffed on the throw. The ball bounded into centerfield while Smith trotted down to third base.
Runner on third, no outs and some decent hitters coming up. Surely, the Rays would pick up at least one run and possibly more. Yet, Hess worked his way out. He got Daniel Robertson to ground to third with Valencia making a fantastic throw as he had to hurdle over Smith who was diving back to the bag.
Then with the infield in Jonathan Field made solid contact but drove the pitch into the ground right at Manny Machado. Rob Refsnyder followed with another ground ball and the inning was over with the Orioles still in the lead. In the top of the next inning, Schoop slammed his fifth home run of the season over the left field fence to extend the lead.
It was nice to see the Orioles work out of the jam with excellent defense and pitching. If they keep doing that, the wins will keep piling up.