The Baltimore Orioles will have to settle for simply taking the series in Anaheim this weekend. The Birds took three-of-four, including of course their epic 16 inning win on Thursday night in the series opener. Dylan Bundy wasn’t exactly “on” per se, but he did put the Orioles in a spot to win the game. And that’s all you can ask of a starting pitcher. Bundy’s line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 3 K.
The O’s actually fell behind early in this one, following Thaiss’ second inning two-run homer. However they soon came to within one at 2-1 when Jonathan Villar smacked an RBI-double in the third. Incidentally, Anaheim starter Pena appeared to leave the game in the second when a blister popped on his throwing hand. However he got some quick treatment on it, and stayed in the game. Anaheim was direly in need of a long outing, so kudos to him.
Villar would later tie the game at two in the fifth inning with an RBI-single. But it was Trey Mancini who got the O’s thinking that they could complete the sweep later in the inning. His two-RBI single gave the Orioles the lead at 4-2.
With how the Orioles had pitched in this series, one might have thought that was a safe lead. But sometimes you just don’t have it on certain days. Bundy surrendered a two-run homer to Pinole in the last of the sixth, tying the game.
The Orioles would eventually fall on a walk off homer by Thaiss in the last of the ninth. Look at it as you wish, but this was an incredibly successful series for the Orioles. Perhaps the best series of the season. They took three-of-four from a team on the west coast, and the one game they dropped wasn’t lost until the last of the ninth inning. On a walk off home run.
This Oriole team grew up this weekend in Anaheim. They’ve been trending well since the beginning of the month, but I really believe that at some point (perhaps next year or the year after) we’ll look back at this series as when they started taking a step forward in the rebuilding process. While they lost today, there’s nary any negative which can be spun out of this series from the Orioles’ standpoint.
The Birds now head off to their last stop on the west coast swing, a two-game set with San Diego at Petco Park. The O’s are yet to announce a starter, and Sam Diego will throw Chris Paddack. Game time is set for just after 10 PM.