First and foremost, the Baltimore Orioles snapped an eight-game losing streak this evening. Dylan Bundy pitched an absolute gem for the Orioles tonight. Yet he was unable to get the win. Instead it went to Hunter Harvey in relief – note worthy because it was his first big league win. Bundy’s line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K.
In a season where more and more balls are flying over the fence, tonight we had the pleasure of seeing an old fashioned pitcher’s duel at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. To some of us, it was a refreshing sight. Let’s face it, home runs are exciting. But the game’s always been more than just the long ball. Pitching and defense have their place also.
The Orioles allowed a single to Gordon in the second inning, which wouldn’t have happened if not for the shift. The ball was hit right to where the second baseman would have been had the O’s played their defense straight away. An additional base hit an a Villoria RBI-single later, and the O’s trailed 1-0.
And that one-run lead held up for Kansas City for some time. For awhile it looked like their pitching was going to do all they could not to even let the Orioles on base. However on the other side the Birds still had Bundy dueling right there with Kansas City’s starter. And he was let off the hook for a loss when Rio Ruiz smacked an RBI-single in the seventh.
However they lifted Bundy after the seventh, and Harvey pitched the eighth. A flawless eighth I might add – striking out two. That was the top of the eighth. Then came the last of the eighth.
Trey Mancini led the inning off with a walk. However it was a heads up play that he made while on first which made a huge difference a in theory. An out was recorded on a foul pop, sending the Kansas City third baseman into the Kansas City dugout on the third base side. While he made the catch, he did so falling into the dugout and with his back to the field. Mancini alertly tagged up and went to second base.
Hanser Alberto came to the play following an additional walk, and send a three-run homer into the Orioles’ bullpen in left center field. That gave the Orioles a 4-1 lead, which translated into a 4-2 victory. Harvey of course was the pitcher of record when they took the lead, so he gets the win. Again, his first as a big leaguer.
The reason I say that Mancini’s heads-up base running made a huge difference IN THEORY is because they took the lead on a homer. However Mancini got himself into scoring position, and was ready to score on a base hit. Small things like that win you games.
The O’s will go for the series win tomorrow night at Camden Yards. Aaron Brooks gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Mike Montgomery. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.