MILWAUKEE — Well, the Orioles and Brewers may not play against each other very often, but they sure do make it entertaining.
After Baltimore pulled off a dramatic, extra-inning victory Monday afternoon, the two teams were back at it Tuesday night, with Milwaukee winning this time, 7-6 in 10 innings.
Milwaukee was victorious in the strangest of ways. With two outs and no one on, Orioles Manager Buck Showalter intentionally walked Mark Reynolds to get to the pitcher’s spot.
It would have been Francisco Rodriguez (2-1), but instead Yovani Gallardo, the starter for Wednesday’s game, came in to pinch-hit against T.J. McFarland (0-1).
Gallardo hit a double to left center, Reynolds scored from first and the Brewers won – thanks to a walk-off by a guy who will throw Wednesday’s first pitch.
The Orioles (26-24) and Brewers (31-22) will face off Wednesday, with the winner capturing the season series — and taking the lead in the all-time interleague matchup between the two, which is currently tied at 4-4.
Since the Brewers switched to the National League in 1998, the former American League East rivals have played just two series. The Orioles were 2-1 in Baltimore in 2003 and the Brewers were 2-1 in Milwaukee in 2008.
Tuesday’s game featured the first blown save by new Orioles closer Zach Britton. The lefty had previously converted his first three opportunities, but began Tuesday’s ninth with a single to Lyle Overbay.
With two outs and pinch runner Elian Herrera on third, Jonathan Lucroy hit a dribble to third that Manny Machado fielded, but he couldn’t quite throw out Lucroy. Herrera scored to tie the game at 6-6.
The win would have come earlier for the Brewers, but the Orioles Steve Pearce seemingly keeps finding ways to make a difference whenever he gets onto the field.
After starting the previous two games at first base because Chris Davis was on paternity leave, Pearce was relegated to a bench role again Wednesday.
He just had to wait until the seventh, when he delivered the club’s first pinch-hit homer in three years as the Orioles took a 6-5 lead.
Trailing 5-3 in the seventh, Pearce pinch-hit for the pitcher’s spot and ripped a Matt Garza fastball inside the left field foul pole for a three-run homer. It gave the Orioles their first lead and the team its first pinch-hit homer since Luke Scott did it against the Minnesota Twins on April 18, 2011.
Pearce, who was released and signed again by the Orioles in late April, has now batted .339 with three doubles, four homers and 11 RBI in 56 at-bats since May 1.