Baltimore Orioles: Austin Hays’ inside-the-parker finally wins it for the O’s

Baltimore Orioles’ starter Alex Cobb cMe within two outs of a quality start this evening in Philadelphia. That’s considered six innings at a minimum, and three runs or less. Cobb’s line: 5.1 IL, 3 H, 3 R (2 earned), 2 BB, 2 K.

Cobb pitched-to-contact all night, hence the low walk and strikeout totals. He gave up a two-run single to McCutchen in the third inning. He also surrendered a solo homer to Bruce in the fifth, which gave Philadelphia a 3-0 lead.

But as usual, the Orioles weren’t about to go away. In fact, perhaps it’s not so much about not going away as it is in-game adjustments. The 2020 O’s seem to be really good at making in-game adjustments. In other words, identifying something that’s working for the opponent, and finding a work-around. That’s the mark of a solid coaching staff.

Renato Nunez got the O’s on the board with an RBI-single in the sixth. Rio Ruiz‘s RBI-double got them to within one at 3-2. And that’s where things really began to open up for the O’s. You could almost see the tide turning in their favor. And they weren’t about to let up.

Dwight Smith Jr.‘s RBI-single tied the game at three later in that sixth inning. And again, you could see the Birds gaining confidence as time went on. They did to Philadelphia what they did to Washington; snuck up on them.

But the O’s weren’t simply content with tying the game. They wanted to win it. And once again it was Hanser Alberto who got the party started. His RBI-double gave the O’s the lead at 4-3 (Alberto would take third on the throw). Anthony Santander would extend the lead to 5-3 with an RBI-single, scoring Alberto.

The O’s May have made some great in-game changes, but at the end of the day Philadelphia muscled the win. Harper smacked a two-run homer in the eighth tying the game. Segura followed suit with a solo shot, giving Philly a 6-5 lead. It’s a tough way to lose, but the Orioles are doing a lot of things right. You win some, you lose some. Only…

…the O’s didn’t lose. The game’s nine innings, not eight. The Birds would load the bases in the ninth, and tie the game at six on Nunez’s RBI-single. What happened next is anyone’s guess.

Pedro Severino (with the bases loaded) popped a ball up just off the pitcher’s mound. It appeared to be the end of the inning. However Philadelphia’s infield botched the play and let it drop. That scored two runs for the O’s, giving them an 8-6 lead…

…but wait, there’s more. Philadelphia loaded the bases in the last of the ninth, and were down to their last strike. But Gregorious blooped a softly-hit two-RBI single into center, tying the game. That’s part of being the home team – having the last at-bat.

Of course it would be an unconventional play that would turn the tide back to the O’s – for good. With a runner starting on second base, Austin Hays sent a liner to center. It went under the glove of the diving outfielder, and went all the way to the wall. Hays ended up with a two-run inside-the-park home run. Philadelphia would push one across in the tenth also, but it was meaningless. O’s win, 10-9.

The series continues tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park. Wade LeBlanc gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Philadelphia’s Zach Eflin. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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