It’s been a good month for Melky. His slash line coming into today’s game is .284/.324/.389. It’s more pedestrian than pretty but on on April 30 it was .241/.291/.287, so he’s taking giant steps in the right direction. Last night he hit the first lead off home run of his career, and I don’t think I’m surprised that his move to the top of the order and the Jays’ offensive surge has coincided. Certainly his 28 hits (.341 BA) in May are contributing.
Melky’s May Meter
RA Dickey has his work cut out for him. He gives up a lot of home runs, and the Orioles hit a lot of home runs. Adam Jones and Chris Davis have both homered in the first two games of the series. There’s also the specter of the passed ball any time a runner is on third base. The O’s have put three runs on the board in the top of the 1st inning without the benefit of a home run or a passed ball. It looks like it’s going to be a short game for the Jays’ ace. A double, a single, and two walks mean the Jays have a 3-run hole out of which to climb early in this one.
Veteran Freddy Garcia started for the O’s today, meaning the three-run deficit may not be that big of a hurdle. Singles by Melky and Jose opened the door for the Jays but a DP ball by Edwin took care of two base runners. Interestingly, Jose has a .489 OBP in May, trailing only Miguel Cabrera for the month. A single by Adam Lind put the Jays on the board, scoring Melky from third. Brett Lawrie struck out to end an inning for the 15th time this season, then pointedly and very gently laid down his bat, helmet, and batting gloves on the turf. If I was an umpire, I’d warn him very subtly and quietly. What Lawrie did last night was a reaction; what he did today was calculated. Either way, it was designed to show up the umpires.
A lead off single in the top of the 2nd inning was snuffed at 2B on a good throw by Melky. Melky’s already setting himself up for player of the game honours. No further damage was done in a fairly quick inning by RA Dickey.
Dickey’s inability to keep the O’s from scoring widened the lead. Dickey gave up 9 hits and 3 walks in 6.2 IP, allowing the O’s to score 6 runs. Brett Cecil relieved Dickey and struck out 3 of the first 4 batters he faced. The Jays, for their part, stranded a lot of base runners. Similar to the game 2 loss the Jays out-hit the O’s.
A clutch Kawasaki single into right brought the Jays within 2, making the score 6-4. Melky followed Kawasaki with another clutch hit to make the score 6-5. That’s all the scoring either team would do as Aaron Loup and Jim Johnson both pitched scoreless half innings.
RA Dickey wasn’t able to close the deal today, as the O’s scored all 6 of their runs with 2 outs. The Jays worked hard to get back into and stay in the game, but it wasn’t quite enough. Brett Lawrie struck out to end the game, making it 16 innings that he’s ended with a strikeout.
On the plus side Adam Lind and Jose Bautista are pipin’ hot; both players had 3 hits today. I’ll need to look into it a little more closely, but the team as a whole is striking out considerably less than they did early in the season. The offense is churning out hits and scoring runs. They’ve stroked 30 hits and scored 11 runs in the last 2 losses. The defense is strong(er), allowing the Jays to both keep leads and mount comebacks. If we could just see that rotation settle in and start pitching to their capabilities…