At the end of May, the Speakers wrapped up their 1st period against the formidable Wahoos.
Game 1 – The Wahoos become Unhinged in the 2nd, turning a lead off walk and three consecutive singles into the first 2 runs of the game. Carlos Gomez and Brandon Crawford collect RBIs.
Roughned Odor answers in the bottom half with a 2-run triple following a lead off walk and Ian Kinsler single. Buster Posey’s clutch 2-out single plates Odor for an early 3-2 lead.
The Wahoos go back to work in the 3rd as Starling Marte singles in Jose Altuve with 2 away. Solos by Crawford and Altuve in the 4th put Mann’s Wahoos ahead, 5-3.
Posey singles again to start the bottom of the 5th. Mookie Betts takes Stephen Strasburg deep (7) to knot the game at 5-5. But the Speakers aren’t done. Doubles by Anthony Rizzo and Manny Machado surround a Kris Bryant HBP. Kinsler adds a sac fly to complete a 4-run inning and 7-5 lead.
Edwin Encarnacion’s sac fly in the 6th brings home Sparky Eaton in the 6th to close the margin to 7-6. However, the Wahoos fail to reach base against the Speaker pen, which retires 11 straight.
W – Bartolo Colon (1-1); L – Strasburg (0-5); S – Roberto Osuna (5)
Game 2 – Daniel Norris and Carlos Martinez clash in an old fashioned pitchers’ duel. Kinsler doubles with 1 out in the Speakers’ 4th. Javier Baez singles him home to break a scoreless tie.
In the very next half-inning, Bryant whiffs on a grounder to 1st allowing Marte to reach 2nd. Martinez gets the next 2 batters, but Roberto Perez coaxes a walk to turn over the lineup. That gives Eaton a chance to become the hero. Sparky laces a 2-run double to put the Wahoos ahead, 2-1.
The Speakers never reach 2nd base again as Norris and the Wahoos’ relief crew put the game away. Martinez is the tough luck loser, allowing only 3 hits and 2 unearned runs.
W – Norris (1-0); L – C. Martinez (4-3); S – Alex Colome (9)
Game 3 – Jeremy Hellickson and former Speaker Justin Verlander put on another pitching show. Encarnacion’s solo in the 1st allows the Wahoos to start fast.
Meanwhile, Verlander only allows one Speaker as far as 2nd base until the 8th. Cruising with 2 away, Verlander hangs a pitch to Carlos Gonzalez who strokes a double. Rizzo grounds to short, but Crawford can’t find the handle as CarGo streaks home to tie at 1-1.
That marks the first Speakers run in 13 innings. Verlander calmly picks off Rizzo to end the frame.
With 2 outs in the top of the 9th, Kinsler takes Verlander for a ride. His 3rd HR of the season gives the Speakers a 2-1 advantage.
Jeremy Jeffress strikes out the dangerous Nolan Arenado to start the bottom of the 9th. Wil Myers singles (10) to bring the winning run to the plate. With Myers in motion, Marte hits a seed into Machado’s glove. Manny throws to 1st to easily double off Myers and end the game, 2-1.
W – Jeffress (2-0); L – Verlander (3-3)
Game 4 – More pitching domination, this time featuring David Price and Corey Kluber. The Speakers jump out to the early lead today as Betts walks to begin the proceedings. Gonzalez singles. Bryant flies to right as Betts tags and slides safely into 3rd. Rizzo’s grounder to Myers results in a 3-6 fielder’s choice RBI.
In the top of the 4th, Gomez butchers a line drive to left resulting in Kinsler circling the bases. For these offenses, a 2-0 lead seems like a 12-0 cinch.
Arenado finally gets his bat going by slugging a solo shot in the bottom of the 4th. Two harmless singles and one walk, all in separate innings, are all the Wahoos can manage the remainder of the game.
When the 2-1 score becomes final, only Arenado has touched 2nd base during his home run trot. The last 10 Wahoos go down in order.
W – Price (2-2); L – Kluber (1-4); S – Osuna (6)