The Baltimore Orioles were once again the exception to the rule last night. The common saying is that solo home runs don’t beat you. In general, I’m going to believe that 100%. However Minnesota smacked five solo homers last night, four of which came off of starter Alex Cobb. Cobb’s line: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R (4 earned), 1 BB, 2 K.
Minnesota hammered Oriole pitching last weekend at Camden Yards. Part of that was a start by Cobb, but they smacked around pretty much all Oriole pitchers that they saw. And the home runs went a long way. We also saw that continue last night – lots of homers, and they went a long way. How is that explained?
I’m not sure it can be, other than saying just that Minnesota’s really kicked in on the Orioles. Heck, they’re so locked in it seems that everyone’s hitting home runs. They aren’t bothering with singles or doubles, meaning that all the homers are coming with nobody on base. Which turns that long-standing rule (solo homers don’t beat you) on it’s side.
Cruz, Rosario, and Cron homered back-to-back-to-back in the first inning. That in essence put the Orioles on notice that this game was in essence going to be a continuation of last weekend’s series. And Minnesota was off to the races.
Cobb settled down in the second, however Minnesota struck again in the third with a solo homer by Kepler. One inning later (after Cobb had exited the game) Cruz smacked a second homer. Go figure, also a solo shot. They would put up a fifth run off of a Rickard error later in the inning. The only run they scored on the night which wasn’t a solo homer.
Dwight Smith Jr. would get the Birds on the board with an RBI-single in the sixth. But it would only be a token run, as Minnesota wasn’t relenting. Part of the issue offensively is that the O’s were 1-for-9 with RISP. That was also a big issue last weekend, as the Orioles left a small army on base.
Ironically, Minnesota’s numbers with RISP were worse – 0-for-6. But when you’re hitting all of those solo homers, you don’t have to have to worry about hitting with runners in scoring position. And again as I said, Minnesota managed to find the exception to a long-standing rule.