Game 87: Orioles 6, Rangers 1
* Chris Tillman looked very good. He pounded the strike-zone pretty consistently, mixed his pitches (including throwing what looked like a few cutters, which we haven't seen yet this year), and kept the Rangers from making much solid contact. The best part; 12 groundballs to 5 flyballs. Final line; 7.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 3 K. More games like this, please.
* Nick Markakis started the fireworks for the Birds, turning on a pitch and driving it out deep down the right-field line for his 6th home run of the year. He also beat out a grounder for an infield hit. Nick has been hustling like crazy recently - I hope he doesn't pull something.
* Cesar Izturis took Lee deep an inning later, for likely his only home run of the season. Lee gave up 5 home runs all season coming into this game, by the way.
* Not one to be left out of the fun, Adam Jones went to dead center for home run #14. He also added a single later, but cost the team a run (unearned) defensively by misplaying a single into a triple (which preceded a wild pitch).
* I like Cliff Lee, so it was a bit of a shame that the O's knocked him around. Not often you see a go give up 6 runs on 9 hits, but finish with a complete game and only 95 pitches thrown.
The O's win 6-1, guarantee themselves a series win, and have a chance for the four-game sweep tomorrow. In Texas. Against the first-place Rangers. Sure the team is only 28-59 now, but that doesn't make the last few games any less satisfying.
The Rangers sent recently their acquired Ace, Cliff Lee, to the mound. The Orioles countered with the just called up from Triple-A Chris Tillman. If I told you one gave up three home runs and the other took a no-hitter into the 7th inning, what kind of odds could I have gotten that Lee did the former and Tillman the latter? Baseball is a crazy game sometimes.