Alex Cobb did his job last night as the Baltimore Orioles’ starter. He put the team in a position to win. That’s what you ask of your starting pitcher in every game, but especially when you’ve lost six straight. Cobb’s line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K.
And Cobb has a brief lead in the game as well. Pat Valaika‘s solo homer in the second inning gave the Birds a 1-0 lead. However losing streaks don’t go easily. You had to know that both Boston, as well as “the losing streak,” were going to put up a fight.
Bradley’s solo homer in the fifth tied the game at one. Later in the inning Verdugo’s RBI-double gave Boston a 2-1 lead. One inning later, Pillar’s infield RBI-single extended Boston’s lead to 3-1.
And the Boston bullpen didn’t appear to be looking to allow the Orioles back into the game. Out after out was recorded, and the Birds seemed to be headed for their seventh straight loss. Only they weren’t.
Anthony Santander‘s spot came up in the eighth inning. He strode to the plate with a runner on and the Orioles trailing by two. And Santander delivered; he sent a deep shot down the left field line. The distance was never going to be an issue. But would it stay fair?
And the answer was YES, it would! Santander’s two-run shot tied the game at three, and put life into the Orioles. It’s tough to put into words what Santander means to this team right now, as he’s hitting everything that’s coming his way. And it’s generally leaving the ballpark. He also seems to have the clutch gene in him whereby he makes his presence known at the right times. A two-run homer in the first inning is a great thing. But doing it when Santander did is even better.
The game went to extra innings, which of course meant that Boston got to start the tenth inning with a runner at second base. Three walks later, they had a 4-3 lead. But that wasn’t about to render Santander’s earlier heroics null and void…
…because the O’s also got to start their half of the tenth with a runner at second. Cedric Mullins led off the inning and dragged a sacrifice bunt up the first base line. However Boston tried to make the out at third base, and instead got nothing. That gave the Birds runners at the corners with nobody out. A wild pitch later and the runner from third scored tying the game.
Following a single which also left runners at the corners, Boston would walk Anthony Santander. Being walked with second base open is respect. And fear. But it was probably the right call by Boston.
However the O’s weren’t about to squander this chance to win a game, and snap the skid. With the bases loaded, Pedro Severino‘s RBI-single gave the Birds a 5-4 win. And it’s a big win at that, as it snaps a six-game losing streak. Which is a load off of the minds of everyone in the clubhouse.
The O’s will try to go for the series split this afternoon at Camden Yards. Wade LeBlanc gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Zack Godley. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.