The Baltimore Orioles have been baseball’s most hapless team over the last four years, but their midseason surge is quickly becoming the feel-good story of the year. Baltimore started the year 14-24, but rode a 10-game winning streak just before the All-Star break to finish at .500 going into the second half. The AL East is an absolute blood bath with the Yankees leading the charge, but as of now the Orioles are within three games of a wild card spot.
Everyone figured Baltimore would be sellers at the trade deadline. Maybe that’s still the case. Trey Mancini has been one of the team’s best hitters for a while now, and there’s reportedly a real market for him with the Aug. 2 deadline approaching. Mancini played what could be his final home game in Baltimore on Thursday, and got a fitting send-off for how improbable and goofy this Orioles resurgence has been.
With Baltimore leading 1-0 in the bottom of eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays, Mancini hit what should have been a routine fly ball to right field. Instead, Josh Lowe misplayed the ball, and it hit him in the face. Mancini raced the bases and ended up with an inside-the-park home run. Watch the video here:
Here’s another angle of the ball bouncing off Lowe’s face:
Mancini scooting around the bases is a sight to behold. The throw beat him to the plate, but somehow his gassed strides still carried him home before the tag could be applied.
How many times do you see an off-the-noggin inside the parker? Mancini certainly got an assist from the sun, but he’ll take it. The Orioles took three of four from the Rays, and continue their remarkable turnaround. This is just the way things are going for the Orioles these days. We’ll see if they keep it together.