For the first time in 2018 we saw the Baltimore Orioles of old tonight. Guys made valiant efforts to catch balls, which landed in their gloves (as opposed to bouncing past). Pitchers made their pitches and hit their marks. And the bats came through in the clutch when they were needed most.
Andrew Cashner is still looking for his first win at Camden Yards, after getting non-decisioned. Cashner’s line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 3 K. Cashner pitched to a quality start, which certainly vouches for something. He made a mistake on one pitch, on which Duda smacked a two-run homer in the fourth, giving Kansas City a 2-0 lead.
To that point, we had seen a pitching duel. However as can happen, that one moment opened the floodgates. To a point, that is. Chris Davis came with runners at the corners and two outs. As late as yesterday, Davis probably would have struck out or popped out. But not tonight – he smacked a three-run homer to left field, giving the Orioles a 3-2 lead.
And perhaps the biggest key there is that Davis went the opposite way. When sluggers start doing that you know they’re starting to come out of a slump. The Orioles can only hope so much with Davis.
However unfortunately the O’s would leave runners in scoring position in the fifth, which almost came back to haunt them. Kansas City would tie it in the sixth on Duda’s RBI-single. It appeared to be more of the same for the Orioles; they leave ducks on the pond, and the opponent takes advantage. However Cashner pitched them out of the inning, preserving the tie.
The O’s would put two runners on once again in the last of the eighth with two outs. That brought Mark Trumbo to the plate with first base open. With Davis on deck and a base open, Kansas City opted to pitch to Trumbo. And for once a move not made haunted the opposition, as Trumbo’s two-RBI single up the middle put the Birds in the driver’s seat for good, and they went on to a 5-3 victory.
The win snapped a seven-game losing streak, but more importantly perhaps gave the Orioles some confidence. You’re only as good as your next day’s starter, and tonight that was a good thing for the Birds. They need to take that into tomorrow so as to get on another type of streak: a winning streak.
The Orioles will conclude the series with Kansas City tomorrow evening at Camden Yards. Chris Tillman gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Ian Kennedy. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.