The Baltimore Orioles can’t win many games if they don’t put any runs on the board. It really doesn’t matter who the starter is, or how good he looks. And this on a day where starter John Means looked pretty good. Means’ line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K.
On the flip side however, games such as these will happen to young teams. And the Orioles are certainly a young team. Furthermore, they’re a young team playing against the defending champions. At Fenway Park. Just for context.
Bogaerts would put Boston ahead in the last of the fourth with a sac fly-RBI. That would be the lone run the aforementioned John Means would surrender. Speaking for myself, I’m fairly impressed with Means and the two starts he’s made thus far. They both came in losing efforts and they both were shorter outings, however Means showed promise in both.
They key today was that he attacked the zone. Boston hitters almost looked as if they were expecting him to nibble. (Maybe because they’ve seen Oriole pitchers nibble at Fenway for years.) But Means attacked the zone, potentially providing for some shocked gazes from the BoSox and their fans when their players would strike out.
However in the end, it would be Bogaerts who would put the game out of reach as well. His eighth inning three-run homer against the Orioles’ bullpen gave Boston a 4-0 lead. That would end up being the final, as Boston blanked the Orioles on this Sunday afternoon at Fenway Pahk.
The Orioles originally had Dwight Smith Jr. in today’s starting lineup, however he was scratched about 90 minutes before game time with a sore leg. However manager Brandon Hyde said that he would be available to play if needed.
Hyde also said that the team is eyeing next weekend as a potential return for starter Alex Cobb. Cobb of course has been on the Injured List with back issues. The O’s want to be as cautious as they can, given the sensitivity of back problems. However the aim is next weekend’s home series with Minnesota.
The weekend series with Boston of course culminates tomorrow at Fenway Park for the annual Patriot’s Day morning game. Dan Straily gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Hector Velasquez. Game time is set for just after 11 AM. (Yes you read that correctly – 11:00 AM!)