Asher Wojchiekowski turned in his second strong outing in as many last night for the Baltimore Orioles. It was also his second win in as many outings, and the Orioles’ second consecutive win. Wojciechowski’s line: 7.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K.
The Birds took an early 1-0 lead on a sac fly-RBI by Anthony Santander. And that came in the wake of a hit batsman, a stolen base, and an additional sacrifice to get the runner to third. A true “team run.”
The second inning however effectively ended the game. Or at least the competitive portion thereof. Stevie Wilkerson added to the Orioles’ lead with an RBI-groundout. The aforementioned Santander added a two-RBI single, leaving runners on base. But they were soon brought home by Renato Nunez when he smacked a three-run home run.
That second inning left the O’s with a 7-0 lead. That’s tough to overcome, however the saving grace for Anaheim was that it was early in the game. But the fact is that Wojciechowski and the Orioles’ bullpen wasn’t allowing a comeback on this night. They took the lead and ran with it, despite Anaheim netting two runs on Thaiss’ two-run homer in the last of the fifth.
The teams would swap homers in the ninth as well. Trey Mancini for the Orioles (of the two-run variety), and Upton’s solo homer for Anaheim. But when you’re ahead big and it’s the ninth inning, you don’t sweat a solo homer. The O’s ended up 9-3 winners on this Friday night in Anaheim, their second consecutive win.
Incidentally, the Orioles only used two relievers in the game. Wojciechowski’s strong outing did a huge favor for the tired Orioles’ bullpen, which pitched a 16-inning game on Thursday. Nobody would have blamed the Orioles for losing this game had they done so after Thursday’s marathon. But they took the bull by the horns and went out and won them the game. That type of grit shouldn’t be lost on fans.
The series continues tonight at Angel Stadium. Aaron Brooks gets the start for the O’s, and Anaheim is yet to announce a starter. Game time is set for just after 9 PM.