Baltimore Orioles: Cedric Mullins’ homer wins a wild one for the Birds

It took heroics from Cedric Mullins to win perhaps the worst defended game of all time for the Baltimore Orioles in Bradenton tonight against Pittsburgh. The teams combined for nine errors in the game, many of which led to runs. Which didn’t help Orioles’ starter Dean Kremer. Kremer’s line: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 3 K.

Anthony Santander‘s RBI-groundout and Ryan Mountcastle‘s RBI-single in the top of the first game the Birds a 2-0 lead. Austin Hays, who’s having a great spring (hitting .387), added an RBI-single in the second, running the score to 3-0.

Later on, in the third, Pedro Severino would run it to 4-0 with an RBI-double, and Yolmer Sanchez’s 5-0 with an RBI-single. The Birds appeared on their way to a big win.

However Pittsburgh chipped away in the last of the third, a sequence that included a Frazier two-run homer which cut the Birds’ lead to 5-3. Trey Mancini‘s solo homer in the fourth padded that lead at 6-3, however that’s when a lot of Oriole errors began. Guys misplaying balls missing cut offs, etc. Letting hitters reach base without nary even trying.

And the thing is that when you have guys on base things start to happen. I’ve covered this before on this column. When traffic starts to get onto the base paths, guys trickle home little by little. Pittsburgh would put five runs on the board in the fifth, allowing them to take an 8-6 lead.

Austin Hays would get a run back, following Pittsburgh enhancing it’s lead, in the top of the sixth. His RBI-double cut the lead to 9-7. But the Orioles took over from there. Mountcastle would smack a two-run homer in the sixth. Then Mullins comes up in the top of the seventh, with the game in the balance…

…and he delivers. A two-run homer gave the O’s an 11-9 lead. But the Orioles’ ‘pen held strong for the rest of the night. And the Birds help firm from there, and make no mistake that with their offensive struggles at times, this was a big spring training win.

The O’s tomorrow head to Tampa to take on the NY Yankees. Matt Harvey gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Michael King. Game time is set for just after 6:30 PM.

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