Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez appeared in only 40 games last season due to head and heel injuries, and he batted just .260/.309/.420 when he wasn’t on the disabled list. But there may be reason for a hint of optimism about what’s ahead in 2013. Gutierrez is — first and foremost — healthy. He hasn’t…
BALTIMORE—The Orioles don’t see many knuckleball pitchers. There’s Toronto’s R.A. Dickey and Boston’s Steven Wright.
After nine innings of flailing away at Wright, the Orioles are hoping they can just forget about him for now and move on to more conventional pitchers.
As the Orioles looked at this week’s four-game series with the Boston Red Sox, they knew it would be a duel for the top of the American League East, but a chance to miss the great David Price.
Price might have been preferable to nine innings of Wright.
Wright baffled the Orioles, pitching his third complete game of the season as the Red Sox pull away for a 7-2 win before 43,926 at Oriole Park on Monday.
The Orioles (28-21) now trail Boston (31-20) by two games.
Boston led 3-2 heading to the eighth inning, but four runs off Ashur Tolliver and Mychal Givens enabled the Red Sox to win going away.
The Orioles had just four hits off Wright (5-4), none after the fifth inning when they tied the score at 2.
Baltimore’s top five hitters, Adam Jones, Hyun Soo Kim, Manny Machado, Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo, were a combined 0-for-17 against Wright.
“It was a challenge. He had great stuff today. It never ended up where it started. You can’t really predict where to swing. You just hope that you get one that maybe doesn’t move quite as much. If you do, hey, hang with them,” Trumbo said.
The Orioles tied the game at 2 when Nolan Reimold tripled in the fifth. He scored on Ryan Flaherty’s double. After Caleb Joseph’s single, which snapped an 0-for-19 streak, Jones’ sacrifice fly scored Flaherty.
That was it for the offense. Wright did walk five and throw two wild pitch, and catcher Ryan Hanigan was charged with a passed ball.
“How do you prepare for it? It’s different. You hope they don’t have a real good one,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Showalter didn’t have a great day because he knew a call that cost the Orioles a first inning run was wrong, and nothing could be done about it.
Mookie Betts led off with a single off Tyler Wilson. He moved to second on an infield out by Dustin Pedroia. Xander Bogaerts’ tapper was to the left of home plate. Joseph threw to first, and Betts rounded third and easily scored.
Showalter came out to argue that the ball was fouled off Bogaerts’ left foot, but none of the umpires saw it, and the call is not one that’s subject to review by replay.
“I was hoping the first base ump would see it, but it's hard. We can't see it from the dugout and we're closer than the first base umpire for sure. Usually the hitter gives you a reaction that shows you what's going on but he didn't. He smelled a hit and took off. Made good use of the play. We were able to overturn a couple other mistakes but we couldn't overturn that one,” Showalter said.
Wilson, who allowed three runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings, didn’t use the play as an excuse.
“I saw a great play by Caleb. I thought he got out of there quick, and made an outstanding play to get him at first. He’s a good runner too, and I was a little frustrated with not getting to home plate, though it’s one of those things that you can’t really practice,” Wilson said.
“It just looks a little different and they don’t score there, it’s 2-2 in the seventh rather than 3-2.”
Boston took a 2-0 lead in the third when Betts singled with one out, and after Dustin Pedroia’s single, Bogaerts’ double drove in Betts.
Jackie Bradley, Jr., led off the sixth with his ninth home run of the season, and Boston led 3-2.
Wilson (2-4) walked Bogaerts with two outs in the seventh, and Tolliver came in to face David Ortiz. Bogaerts tried to steal second, and was initially called safe, a ruling that was overturned by replay.
When Tolliver faced Ortiz to start the eighth, he hit a home run to right field, his 14th, and the Red Sox had a 4-2 lead.
Travis Shaw walked with one out, Blake Swihart singled, and Mychal Givens replaced Tolliver.
Rookie Marco Hernandez hit his first major league home run with two outs, a three-run shot, and Boston had a five-run lead.
NOTES: The Orioles have three triples this season, the fewest in baseball. … Bogaerts has a 23-game hitting streak. … The Orioles made two successful replay challenges, and they’re 6-for-12 this season. … Eduardo Rodriguez, making his season debut, faces Kevin Gausman (0-2, 3.24) on Tuesday night. … Joseph injured his groin in the eighth inning and was going to the hospital for an examination.
It was going to be the defining image in Maryland lacrosse history.
Senior goalie Kyle Bernlohr, lunging, forward, contorting his body in the opposite direction, reaching out to deny North Carolina's Chris Cloutier the overtime game-winning goal, the goal that would once again keep Maryland from claiming it's first lacrosse national championship since 1975.
Bernlohr's save was beautiful, but not immaculate. It lacked basic technique and execution but made up for it with, well, everything else.
As Cloutier drove toward the crease, the senior made one final lunge to get in position.
That's when Cloutier dipped to the left, opening up a whole new crop of real estate in the back of the Maryland net.
Bernlohr was out of position and out of options. Cloutier faked high, and had the game-winner in his sights. Bernlohr was on uneven footing and out of position.
Then, instead of finishing low and away, Cloutier stayed high drifting away from the goal and away from prime real estate, and Bernlohr made one final if not desperate lunge across his body, snatching the ball and impending defeat from the Tar Heel attackmen who would finish the game as the NCAA's all-time leader for goals in a single tournament.
It was supposed to go down as the greatest save in NCAA Tournament history. It was supposed to be the catalyst to Maryland breaking its streak of nine-straight championship game losses.
But like the off-balanced, double-clutch 3-pointer hit by North Carolina's Marcus Paige in the waning moments of the 2018 NCAA Basketball Tournament Championship game, and like Jay Beagle's Herculean save in the Capitals' overtime playoff game agaisnt the Penguins, Bernlohr's save was on the cutting room floor within moments.
There was Cloutier, playing the role of Kris Jenkins and Nick Bonino, blasting a shot low and away, completely out of reach of Bernlohr, into the back of the net, giving the Tar Heels a 14-13 championship victory. It was his 19th goal of the tournament, the most in NCAA Tournament history.
It was also the lasting image, the one nobody could have expected given what took place just moments prior.
Maryland's championship nightmare remained strong and the greatest save in tournament history was gone, just like that.
But that's the violent nature of sports. One minute you're the hero and the next you're the goat. It's absolutely heartbreaking, but also remarkably refreshing.
You can't predict sports. You can't script sports. It's better that way, even if it ends with heartbreak.
Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez made a major change on Memorial Day.
Having lost two straight starts for the first time all year, Gonzalez needed to do something to get his groove back.
Instead of changing his release point, tinkering with his delivery or deciding to pitch with his left hand, Gonzalez went all in and cut off his hair.
All of it.
Say hello to the new guy. Gio Gonzalez. You may remember him from a couple years ago. pic.twitter.com/0mj46VKWL7— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) May 30, 2016
Gonzalez sported somewhat scruffy hair during the 2015 season and decided to grow it out, entering the 2016 season with shoulder length hair. But it's all gone now and for a good cause.
Gonzalez is donating his hair to "Locks for Love," a foundation that helps make wigs for children that loss their hair due to medical conditions.
Perhaps it's just the change Gonzalez needs to get back on track. But regardless he's showing support for those in need.