Baltimore Orioles: Three-run fifth sinks the Birds

A sixth-inning Adam Jones double was the extent of the Baltimore Orioles’ offense this afternoon in game one of a split doubleheader. The O’s coudn’t muster much in the wake of last night’s offensive explosion, however the pitching ended up doing them in once again. Jimmy Yacabonis was brought up as the Orioles’ 26th man (allowed for a double-header), and he struggled. Yacabonis’ line: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

It’s your classic case of a pitcher pitching-to-contact once again, and the opponent intent on making contact. The teams breezed through the first few innings without much bluster, which I suppose was to be somewhat expected after last night’s incredibly long game. The difference is that Boston eventually woke up, and the Orioles didn’t.

Boston took a 2-0 lead in the fifth when Nunez smacked a two-run homer over the wall in left field on a line drive. Bradley would follow with a solo shot of his own, and the Birds trailed 3-0. Two innings later Bogaerts got on second, and the attempted to steal third. Austin Wynns promptly rattled off an errant throw, allowing Bogaerts to score and running the score to 4-0. Tack on another solo home run by Bradley in the ninth, and the Birds dropped this first game of a doubleheader to Boston 5-0.

The Orioles certainly would have liked to have looked better in this game than getting blanked 5-0, but the good news is that in most twin bills the teams split. Whether that happens today remains to be seen. Incidentally, this evening’s game is weather permitting.

Prior to this evening’s game the Orioles will hold their annual hall of fame induction ceremony, with former second baseman Brian Roberts and former broadcaster Fred Manfra being this year’s honorees. Roberts was a mainstay at second base for the Birds through some very dark years, and is well deserving of the honor. As is Fred Manfra, for the record. I’ve always said that baseball’s a sport that’s unlike others in that it’s still followed by radio by a great many fans. Radio is very much a part of the romanticism of the game, making radio announcers stewards of the game for a great many people. Manager Buck Showalter on Roberts and Manfra (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

I got to see some spurts of greatness when he [Roberts] could stay on the field health-wise. Physically, it was really a challenge for him. Concussions, he had one right here with the helmet. I know Fred, that’s special, too, but when you’ve had a guy and you see him get honored like that … I’m sure Brian’s real excited about it.

The series continues this evening with the aforementioned second game of the doubleheader at Camden Yards. Yefry Ramirez gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Hector Velazquez. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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