In his debut as a Baltimore Orioles’ starter, Jorge Lopez looked pretty strong at first. However after having seen him once or twice, Toronto batters started to catch up. Lopez’s line: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 K.
The Birds gave Lopez an early lead. Ryan Mountcastle smacked his first major league home run in the first inning, giving the Orioles a 1-0 lead. It was a no doubter, and it landed out towards the highway on the other side of Sahlen Field. Luckily a Good Samaritan retrieved the ball and it was saved for Mountcastle’s private collection.
Toronto would tie the game at one on an RBI-single by Guerrero in the last of the fourth. One inning later Biggio’s RBI-single would give Toronto a 2-1 lead. Grichuk would later add a sac fly-RBI, chasing Lopez.
However the O’s seemed to regain their never say die outlook this afternoon. Pedro Severino‘s sixth inning RBI-single in the sixth cut the lead to 3-2. That brought Ryan Mountcastle back to the plate. With his first big league homer out of the way, he decided it was an opportune moment to hit his second. Except this one was a two-run shot, and gave the Orioles their lead back at 4-3.
But Toronto wasn’t done yet either. The Birds recorded two quick outs in the eighth, before Toronto put two runners on via a base hit and a walk. Tellez’s RBI-single then tied the game at four.
However the O’s came back again. With two outs in the top of the ninth, the Birds had runners at the corners and Jose Iglesias coming to the plate. A base hit would give them the lead. Iglesias hit a slow swinging bunt to short…
…it was so slow, it gave Iglesias a fighting chance of reaching base safely and scoring the run. Iglesias hustled out of the box, and ran down the line – HARD, down the line. And he was called safe at first, allowing the run to score and giving the Orioles a 5-4 lead.
Unfortunately for the O’s and closer Cole Sulser however, the game wasn’t over. They had two runners on in the last of the ninth with two outs and a full count. Sulser threw what everyone, including the hitter, Shaw, thought was strike three. Replays showed it was clearly on the edge of the batter’s box.
Everyone except home plate umpire Sean Barber thought it was strike three and that the game was over. He ruled it ball four, loading the bases. Hernandez’s subsequent two-RBI single won it for Toronto.
Now Sulser did put a couple of guys on, which didn’t help. When you put runners on base anything can happen. And umpires are in fact human. But it does sting to lose a game like that, when in fact the game should have been over. But to the victors go the spoils.
The Orioles also announced two trades before the game. Tommy Milone was dealt to Atlanta for a Player to be named later (PTBNL). Reliever Mychal Givens was also sent to the Colorado Rockies. In return, the O’s got infield prospects Terribly Vavra and Tyler Nevin. They also are receiving a PTBNL.
The series with Toronto concludes tomorrow at Sahlen Field. The Orioles haven’t announced a starter as of yet, and Toronto will throw Chase Anderson. Game time is set for just after 2 PM.