Keegan Akin earned his first major league win last night for the Baltimore Orioles. He only pitched five innings, but that qualifies you for a win. And let there be no mistake that he pitched very well. Akin’s line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K.
Nine strikeouts in five innings is striking. Especially for a guy who didn’t make it out of the first inning in his last start. At one point Akin struck out six straight hitters. Akin on the six consecutive K’s (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
Oh, for sure. I’m a big tempo guy on the mound. When I get in a rhythm I just like to stay in it and go, go, go. Honestly, I didn’t know I struck out six in a row until you just told me. You just kind of zone in and it’s a blur, really. You just get locked in and you go.
Hanser Alberto got the scoring starter in the last of the third with an RBI-double. Later in the inning Jose Iglesias would add an RBI-groundout, and Ryan Mountcastle a sac fly-RBI. That in and of itself is good to see given that they’re manufacturing runs, and scoring without getting hits.
Atlanta would end up scoring on a balk in the top of the sixth. But the O’s kept a lid on things, and never really allowed them back on the game. In the bottom of the inning they managed to tack on two insurance runs when Renato Nunez smacked a two-RBI double. The Birds took the game 5-1, and won the series two games to one.
The O’s will now get set to play a doubleheader tonight against Tampa at Camden Yards. (Tampa will be designated as the home team in the second game, as it’s a makeup of a postponed game at Tropicana Field). Dean Kremer gets the start for the O’s in game one, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Blake Snell. Game time is set for just after 4:30 PM.