The Baltimore Orioles claimed Chandler Shepherd off of waivers earlier this year. They called him to the majors last night to start against Toronto. It was a so-so outing, and one in which he was in essence on a pitch count. Shepherd’s line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K.
Trey Mancini gave the Orioles the lead in the first inning with a two-run homer in the last of the first. It was Mancini’s 34th home run of the season. It’s undeniable that Mancini’s had such a great year, and it stands to reason to me that he’ll be voted the Most Valuable Oriole for 2019. Just a prediction – obviously you never know.
Toronto bounced right back in the second with a solo homer by Grichuck, that cut the Orioles’ lead in half at 2-1. The issue was that one inning later Biggio smacked a two-run homer which gave Toronto the lead at 3-2.
But once again it was Mancini who brought the Orioles back. His sac fly-RBI in the fifth tied the game at three. Two innings later, Mancini gave them the lead back. His RBI-single in the seventh put the Birds ahead 4-3.
The Orioles brought Shawn Armstrong onto pitch the eighth in a setup role. He recorded a quick out, before allowing Biggio aboard with a double. However that didn’t immediately indicate doom for Armstrong and the Orioles, as Armstrong’s pitched out of numerous jams since joining the Birds. And what happened tonight aside, I think he’s a keeper going into spring training next year.
However Armstrong allowed Biggio to time him in a sense. Biggio timed his timing to home plate, and was able to successfully steal third base. He later scored on Gurriel’s sac fly-RBI. And the game was tied.
Those are the types of things that the Orioles need to work on. As close as most games are (they had a one-run lead which was in essence surrendered on that play), that’s the type of thing that can make a huge difference. Again this isn’t to say that Armstrong doesn’t have a spot with the Orioles moving forward – because I think he does. It’s just something that he has to work on.
Unfortunately for the O’s, Toronto our four runs up in the ninth inning. Jonathan Villar smacked a solo homer in the last of the ninth, but it was too little too late. The Birds fell to Toronto on this night, 8-5.
The series continues tomorrow at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Clay Buchholtz. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.