|Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire|
Before the game started, the crowdes gathered to see the unveiling of the Cal Ripken statue in the new Legends Park depicting him fielding backhandedly, as he had so many times between 1981 and 2001. Emotions ran high, and the crowds gave him and all the other O's greats who were there: Brooks, Eddie, Earl, and Jim, a standing ovation. Then the game began.
The Orioles jumped to an early lead with an RBI by Adam Jones that scored JJ Hardy and then a three run shot by Matt Weiters to the left field wall that just barely got over Raul Ibanez's reach and into the stands. Robert Andino and Mark Reynolds added two more solo-shots to bring the Orioles up 6-1 by the end of the 7th.
Things got scary in the 8th. Jason Hammel was plunked in the 4th with a ball hit off his elbow, and finished the night after 5 innings with 6 Ks and giving up 1 run. Randy Wolf came in and pitched well, but got two men out in the 8th, gave up a run and couldn't close the door. Pedro Strop came in and unfortunately, promptly gave up the lead by allowing an RBI single to Granderson, two walks, and another RBI single to Suzuki. Darren O'Day replaced Strop and closed out the inning. Just when the wind appeared to be billowing out of the sails at Camden Yards, Iron Men came to the plate in the bottom half of the 8th.
David Robertson went into pitch, who with a 1.15 WHIP and 2.22 ERA can be dangerous, but not tonight. Adam Jones sent a deep ball right into the Orioles bullpen to say "we got your back, gentlemen"...7-6 Orioles. Matt Weiters sent a single into right field and Mark Reynolds came to the plate. Having already hit one homerun, and having hit 7 in the last 7 games, things could be good, and they were. On the 6th pitch of the at-bat Reynolds sent a 92MPH cutter lobbing for the left field wall. Chris Dickerson jumped to the wall, but it sailed over his head into the stands...9-6 Orioles. Joe Angel called it beautifully on the radio "fastball hit to deep left field, way back there, WAY BACK there, wave that baby bye-bye!". One more Oriole came to the plate in the 8th with big things to contribute. Chris Davis, who up to that point was 0-3, hit the very first pitch he saw right over the right field scoreboard...10-6 Orioles. 4 runs off of three long balls, and there was pandemonium at Camden Yards, and all without an out.
Jim Johnson hit the mound in the top of the 9th and the game was over. A fantastic roller coaster ride of a game and the Orioles game out on top. This will definitely be a game to remember for anyone who watched it, and memorable by far for those of us who were there. On the night we remembered the Iron Man, men of iron came to the plate.