Baltimore Orioles: Redemption for Jonathan Villar, Birds snap loss streak

With this afternoon’s victory in Seattle, the Baltimore Orioles snapped a ten-game losing streak. With the win, the Orioles won their 22nd game of the season, this one behind starter Andrew Cashner. And for once, the O’s got a quality start out of a pitcher, and they won. Cashner’s line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

Ironically today it was Seattle who took the early lead and couldn’t hold it. Vogelbach’s RBI-double in the first gave them a 1-0 lead. However the O’s threatened immediately following that in the top of the second. They put runners on first and second with one down. However Jonathan Villar got picked off of second, followed by a strikeout to end the inning.

And it wasn’t even close – Villar getting picked off, that is. You could have driven a Mack Truck through the space between Villar and the bag. Those are the types of mental errors that we’ve seen a lot from the Orioles of late. And it’s costed the games.

However for once, neither the team nor the player allowed that mistake to define them in this game. Villar came up to bat next in the fourth inning, and smacked a three-run homer which gave the O’s a 3-1 lead. Sometimes tough stretches can be more mental than anything else. But Villar was able to dust himself off after his mistake and make a big (positive) difference for the O’s in this game.

The score remained at 3-1 until the sixth when the Orioles extended it to 5-1 with a two-run homer by Anthony Santander. Seattle would close to within 5-2 with a run in the bottom of that sixth inning off of an error, but again the Orioles didn’t allow that to let the wheels come off. In fact, they further extended their lead in the seventh with a sac fly-RBI by Pedro Severino.

And in fact, the Birds were able to put up a couple of insurance runs. They loaded the bases in the eighth, and Hanser Alberto‘s two-RBI single extended the lead to 8-2. Santana would smack a solo homer in the last of the eighth and Smith an RBI-single in the ninth, but that was too little too late for Seattle.

The big story is that the O’s snapped a ten-game losing streak. However as I said, there were a couple of moments when this could have gone another way. The Villar error, and even the run-scoring error (by Hanser Alberto) in the sixth. Not to mention your run-of-the-mill runners on base throughout the game. The O’s overcame that to win this game. And in Jonathan VillarMs case, he overcame a pretty bad mistake on the bases to play a big role.

The series concludes tomorrow afternoon at T-Mobile Park as the O’s try to go for a series split. Gabriel Ynoa gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Seattle’s Yusmeiro Kikuchi. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

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