Baltimore Orioles defeat Toronto on a late Austin Hays homer

The Baltimore Orioles traveled north to Dunedin Stadium to take on their AL East rivals, Toronto, this afternoon. Announced Opening Day starter Alex Cobb got the start, and looked crisper than his stat line indicates. Cobb’s line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 8 K.

I say that he pitched better than his stat line indicates because of the three runs. Obviously the eight strikeouts over five innings is outstanding. Not to mention the zero walks. In some senses, Cobb looked every bit the Opening Day starter.

The teams played to a 0-0 tie through three innings. However the Orioles took the lead in the fourth on Renato Nunez‘s RBI-double. Later in the inning the O’s got a second RBI-double, this time by Stevie Wilkerson. And the Birds were off to a 2-0 lead. One inning later a Sisco walk with the bases loaded ran it to 3-0.

However the fifth inning did Cobb in. He gave up three runs, allowing Toronto to tie the game at three. End of the day, Cobb pitches pretty well. But the fact that yet another presumed started seemed to tire in the fifth inning is somewhat disheartening.

However the Orioles weren’t going to be held to any moral victories on this day. The O’s got a solo homer from Austin Hays in the eight inning, giving them a 4-3 lead. And that turned into a 4-3 victory.

Hays has had a great spring in his own right, and is making a great play to be on the roster. Time will tell if he is at the end of the day. But he.’a certainly making his case.

The O’s return to Sarasota tomorrow as New York comes into Ed Smith Stadium. Mike Wright Jr. gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Jonathan Loaisiga. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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