John Means pitched a decent outing for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon. Or at least an outing that’a more decent than what his numbers say. Means’ line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 1 K.
Means did what a starter is supposed to do. He put the team in a good position to win the ballgame. Means struggled a bit in the fifth, which drove his pitch count up. Otherwise odds are he’d probably have gone deeper into the game. He wasn’t pitching poorly.
The O’s got on the board in the fourth inning when Trey Mancini broke a scoreless tie with a solo homer to give the O’s a 1-0 lead. Mancini’s shot was on a line to left field. At first it looked like it wouldn’t have the gumption to get out, but it cleared the wall and the Birds had a lead.
Unfortunately for the Orioles, that lead didn’t last long. Luplow’s two-run homer in the bottom of that fourth inning gave Cleveland a 2-1 lead. It wasn’t a deep shot, but it cleared the wall so it counts.
Lindor’s RBI-single one inning late me extended Cleveland’s lead to 3-1. That ended up chasing Means after the inning, as a Cleveland wore him down. Means has probably been the Orioles’ most impressive starter this year, and this afternoon’s game in a losing effort is no exception.
What hurt the Orioles this afternoon was the silence of their bats more so than anything else. They were 0-for-1 with RISP in the game. That’s a problem on two fronts. First off they couldn’t get a hit with a runner in scoring position. However they also only had one opportunity with a runner in scoring position. Both are problems, although as games go on there are always peaks and valleys. Last night’s game was good in terms of offensive output for the Birds. Tomorrow’s could be as well.
Cleveland would get an insurance run in the eighth on a solo homer by Santana. The good news is that anytime Means or any other pitcher found himself in trouble in this game, they did a great job of minimizing the damage. But that doesn’t do much good when you can’t put runs on the board. But part of the beauty of baseball is that tomorrow is the next opportunity to win a game. However it’ll take more than one hit, which is what the Orioles has today – the Mancini homer.
The series concludes tomorrow at Progressive Field. Yefry Ramirez gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Shane Bieber. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.