Andrew Cashner got to return to his home state this afternoon as a starting pitcher, and helped the Baltimore Orioles to make Houston pay. Cashner was fortunate enough to get himself a lead, and then allowed the team to put that lead on his shoulders. Cashner’s line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K.
The Orioles and Houston played to a 0-0 tie through five innings. After an extra-innings game last night, things seemed to be going towards that same direction today – again, through five innings. However in the 6th Renato Nunez put the Birds on the board with a solo homer.
However Cashner had some help in preserving the lead. And some big time help at that. With one out in the last of the sixth Gurriel sent a deep shot to right field. Houston already had two runners on base, and it appeared that the ball was headed for the right field grandstand (which would have given Houston a 3-1 lead). However Orioles’ right fielder Anthony Santander climbed the wall in right to bring the ball back in play. Santander then proceeded to double the runner off of first (while the runner from third tagged up and scored, tying the game).
While Houston was able to tie the game, that’s all they were able to do. Santander flat out saved a home run in that instance, and he ended the inning. And he may have saved the game. It’s also worth mentioning…Santander is only on the roster right now because of the Orioles’ injuries. Interesting twist.
The Birds would then re-take the lead in the 8th on an E6. For good measure, Richie Martin would smack a two-run homer in the ninth, giving the O’s a 4-1 lead and a 4-1 victory. There are a lot of aspects of any win or loss – it’s rarely because of one person or one play. However that Santander catch was as good a play as you’re going to see. While the O’s still had to go out and win the game by re-taking the lead, that play just stands out. It was as good and as clutch of a play as you’re going to see.