The Baltimore Orioles took The defending world champion Boston Red Sox to the brink last night. Boston eventually defeated the Orioles, but it took them twelve innings. The Birds matched Boston point-for-point, beginning with starter Andrew Cashner. It begins and ends with starting pitching, right? Cashner’s line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K.
Cashner set the tone early in the game when the first hitter reached on a two-base error. Cashner in essence started the game with a runner in scoring position. But Cashner pitches out of it, not allowing a runner to cross. All in all, this was one of the best starts of the season for any Oriole starting pitcher.
Boston would take a 1-0 lead in the third on a solo homer by Betts. That was in essence the only mistake that Cashner made. He was able to labor through the sixth inning (giving him a quality start), and left to a standing ovation for his effort.
However he was rewarded for his effort – in a certain sense at least. With the decision already made to lift Cashner, Trey Mancini smacked an RBI-double in the last of the sixth which tied the game. So while Cashner deserved to win this game, at the very least he wasn’t the loser and ended up with a no decision.
The score remained tied and we went to extra innings. The O’s thought they had won it in the eleventh. And for all intents and purposes, they did. Trey Mancini smacked what would have been a walk off home run. The ball cleared the fence in center field, and would have landed on the other side…
…the only problem was that Boston center fielder Bradley Jr. climbed the wall and brought the ball back in. It was one of the better plays you’re going to see this year in the outfield, and it foiled the Orioles’ best shot to win throughout the extra innings. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap.
Unfortunately for the O’s, that propelled Boston to take the lead in the twelfth on a solo homer by Benintendi. That’s why they’re the defending champions – they rise to the occasion. However the Orioles took Boston to the brink in this game. That’s not something that should go unnoticed. It goes as a loss in the standings, however it’s fair for a team like the Orioles ( a rebuilding team) to take a moral victory out of that. Their reward? A day off today at home.