The Baltimore Orioles utilized Nate Karns this afternoon as an “opener” once again. In the final game of the season’s opening road trip, the Birds were going for the sweep in Toronto, with Karns only starting in name only. Karns’ line: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 earned), 0 BB, 4 K.
Karns gave up a run-scoring single to Hernandez in the first inning, in a sequence that included an E5. You can’t give teams extra outs at this level, because they’ll take advantage. After Karns had given way to Jimmy Yacabonis however, Gruchuk added a solo homer in the third inning to give Toronto a 2-0 lead.
Prior to the game the Orioles DFA’d reliever Pedro Araujo, and called up Matt Wotherspoon from the minors. (Araujo will now be offered back to the Chicago Cubs, as he still had Rule 5 status.) Wotherspoon had his opportunity to make his big league debut at Rogers Centre today, however it didn’t go quite according to plan…
…Wotherspoon allowed a homer and an RBI-double in the eighth. In effect, that put the game semi-out of reach for the Orioles. However they did get a late three-run homer from Trey Mancini in the ninth. But the Birds ended up falling on this day, 5-3. (Incidentally the Orioles are expected to send Wotherspoon back down, as they’ll need to make another roster move before tomorrow’s game.)
While Chris Davis isn’t putting out the offensive stats that the Orioles wasn’t right now, he’s always been a solid defensive first baseman. He saved numerous runs today with his glove work at first base. The Orioles would like to see more out of him at the plate for sure, however one way or the other he’s contributing.
It’s always a bit of a downer to lose the final game of a series, even after winning the first two. You’d almost rather lose the first or second game and then win the third – it almost feels like you lost the series. But the fact is that the Orioles didn’t lose this series. They head home now with a 4-2 record, having taken two-of-three in two division series’ on the road.
It’s still very early in a season which still looks to be a tough one for these Orioles. But the fact is that NOBODY saw a 4-2 record coming after six games. Heck, there were people who expected them to be 0-6 going into the home opener. That’s not the case. Even in a losing effort today, they still made a run in the ninth. This could still be a mirage; but this team could also be just a bit better than anyone thought.
The Orioles will now return home for their home opener tomorrow at Camden Yards against New York. Alex Cobb, gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s James Paxton. Game time is set for just after 3 PM.