Baltimore Orioles, Richie Martin Livin’ La Vida Loca

On the south side of Chicago, the baddest part of town, the Baltimore Orioles used every manner possible to pull out the stops and win the first half of a twin bill. Rookie Richie Martin atoned for himself very well, as it was his triple that helped to propel the Birds to victory. Things started out rough for starter David Hess however, through very little fault however of his own. Hess’ line: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R (1 earned), 2 BB, 4 K.

Abreu’s run-scoring double in the first inning gave the ChiSox a 1-0 lead. That run came on the heels of an E4 on Alberto, so it was unearned. Due to various errors committed by the Oriole infield, the Birds were trailing 4-0 after three innings. When a young team’s lost four straight and they have that happen in the first game of a doubleheader, it all but makes sense to pack it in and start looking towards the next game. That didn’t happen.

Dwight Smith Jr. scored on a wild pitch in the fourth to get the O’s on the board. Later in the inning Stevie Wilkerson would ground into a fielder’s choice-RBI. And the O’s has started to chip away. Incidentally, Smith was on third base earlier because he stole third – all part of the aggressiveness that the Orioles are trying to show on the base paths.

Richie Martin would later plate Wilkerson with an RBI-double. That put the Birds right back in the game, as they trailed 4-3. They had several opportunities to tie or take the lead, but those were squandered. They went 3-for-17 in the game with RISP, including leaving the bases loaded in the sixth inning.

Dwight Smith however would smack an RBI-double in the seventh following a lead off walk, and the game was tied at four. Richie Martin would lead off the next inning with a triple. Keep in mind that the Rule 5 pick has played great defense to date, but he really excelled at the plate in this afternoon’s ballgame. He set the table to put the Birds in a spot to win.

With Martin on third and nobody out in the top of the eighth, Jonathan Villar would get him home with a sac fly-RBI. Make no mistake that while the RBI goes to Villar, it was Martin’s prowess at the plate and then his speed which manufactured that run. Not only was it the go-ahead run, but it was the winning run as the O’s broke a four-game skid with a 5-4 victory in game one of a twin bill.

The nightcap of the doubleheader and the series finale at Guaranteed Rate Field is coming up this evening. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Chicago’s Ivan Nova. Game time is…in just a few moments from when this is being written!

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