The Baltimore Orioles sent Jorge Lopez to the hill at Ed Smith Stadium this afternoon against Minnesota, and if numbers mean anything he left a lot to be desired. Granted this was a game that was a bit wayward in terms of runs and how they were scored, and only three of those seven runs were earned. Lopez’s line: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 7 R (3 earned), 2 BB, 3 K.
After his outing Lopez said that he left pitches up in the third inning, which is part of what caused him issues (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNSports)￼
I felt everything was working really good. Sinker, four-seam, but just a little bit up in the third. I left everything up. Fastball away, it should be little more up to a lefty, but with a righty, should be down and away and it was more middle up. That’s when I get hurt. Sometimes I try to take advantage of a better sinker and sometimes it doesn’t move like I want it.
The O’s actually took the lead first in the game. Pedro Severino smacked a solo homer in the last of the second. Then the aforementioned third inning rolled around. Minnesota tied the game on Riddle’s solo homer, and then took the lead on Garlick’s two-run homer. Later in the inning Kirilloff would reach on an error, and a three-run homer by Astudillo would close out the inning.
When the smoke cleared, Minnesota led 7-1. One of the main ideas of pitching is to stay out of the big inning. Jorge Lopez and the Orioles didn’t do that today. But the good news was that the Birds tried to gnaw away at the lead.
Maikel Franco made his Orioles debut today, and immediately made an impact. His two-RBI double in the last of the third brought the Birds to within 7-3. He would later score on Ryan Mountcastle‘s RBI-double. Chance Sisco added an RBI-groundout, and the O’s closed the third at within 7-5.
This is a team that isn’t going to give up. Odds are they’re going to lose a bunch of games. But they won’t give up and they’ll be fun to watch. The goal for this year is for the nose for winning start to grow.
Mountcastle would also get the Birds to within one. His fifth inning solo homer got them to within 7-6. But within one run was as close as they’d get. Minnesota would extend their lead to 8-6 on an RBI-single in the sixth, and the O’s again would come back. Richie Martin would also make his debut today, and he got them back to within one with a sixth inning RBI-single.
By way of wind-aided homers, Minnesota would tack on some insurance runs and close out a 12-7 victory. Tack the pitching into the needs improvement category. But the bats came alive today for sure. Especially Ryan Mountcastle’s.
Tomorrow the Birds head back to Bradenton to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. John Means gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s Mitch Keller. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.