There was a moment where Baltimore Orioles’ fans questioned whether starter Andrew Cashner would even make it out of the first inning. Cashner surrendered five runs to San Francisco in the top of the first, causing many fans (and writers) to assume the game was over. But if you had Cashner overcoming that 5-0 deficit and qualifying for the win, you’d probably be a rich man right now! Cashner’s line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 BB, 0 K.
I say all the time that pitchers will have bad starts. But when you throw a clunker and you still get the win, you can consider it a bonus. Luckily for Cashner, he got some help from Oriole bats. And early on after surrendering five runs in the first, he needed it.
The Birds immediately put runners on base, and got on the board in the last of the first on an RBI-single by Renato Nunez. Pedro Severino would follow suit with an RBI-single of his own. So at that point at least the O’s had trimmed the lead and fought themselves back into the game. Needless to say, they were sending the message that they weren’t going quietly into the night.
Later in the inning Dwight Smith Jr. came up with the bases loaded. And Smith forced the O’s into the lead with a grand slam. Cashner left the field with a five-run deficit, and returned with the lead.
However he did allow SF to tie it up. Yastrzemski’s solo home run (the same Yaz whom the O’s traded a few weeks ago) ties the game back up at six in the second. However that shouldn’t have been surprising to anyone, as this game had already established itself as caddywampus or off the rails. Both teams had already put up crooked numbers. So why not let the fun continue?!
And continue it did – in the last of the second, for the Birds. Trey Mancini smacked a two-run homer to give the Orioles the lead back at 8-6. And Cashner along with the Orioles’ bullpen kept it right there. Renato Nunez would add a solo shot in the last of the seventh, and the O’s took game one of this inter league series by the score of 9-6.
The Orioles’ bullpen was also strong tonight in relief of Cashner. Incidentally, Cashner threw 109 pitches over five innings. The fact that he got the win is to his credit for toughing it out. It’s also to the credit of manager Brandon Hyde (who will miss tomorrow’s game to attend his step-daughter’s graduation in Chicago) for sticking with Cashner. Whether there are crooked numbers or not, at the end of the day a W’s a W.
The series continues tomorrow at Camden Yards. David Hess gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by San Francisco’s Shaun Anderson. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.