Bruce Zimmerman got the opportunity of a lifetime this evening; the Baltimore-native started a game for the Baltimore Orioles. He had played at Camden Yards before, but this was the first time he had the opportunity to do so in front of fans. Many of whom he probably knew or was related to. It’s one thing to make it to the majors. It’s quite another to do so with your hometown team (and to record a quality start). Zimmerman’s line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K.
Unfortunately Zimmerman was greeted rudely. Devers’ RBI-single in the first inning gave Boston a 1-0 lead. Devers would later get caught stealing to end the inning. However he was merely a diversion, as the lead runner was able to come around and score before the rundown ended.
That’s another case of getting guys on base and having something happen. Zimmerman didn’t make a bad pitch that got hit – allowing a run to score. But guys were on base, and something happened without a pitch being thrown. That shows the importance of keeping ducks off the pond.
But that was only the first inning. And the good news is that at least in the first, Oriole bats were hot. In a made-for-Baltimore moment, Trey Mancini smacked his first homer of 2021, and his first since coming back. It’s moments like that, and like the Standing O he received on Thursday, which make baseball great.
Anthony Santander came up after Mancini, and went back-to-back with a solo homer of his own. This tied the game at two runs each. And there it remained until the sixth when Devers cranked a solo homer, giving Boston the lead back at 3-2.
However with a runner already on base and nobody out in the last of the eighth, we saw perhaps the play of the game from the Orioles’ standpoint. DJ Stewart smacked a double to dead center field, splitting the outfielders. That put two in scoring position with nobody down.
Stewart knew enough to understand his job was to get on base. So he hit it where they weren’t. And it’s that sort of situational hitting which will win you ballgames. It didn’t happen tonight, but that wins you games.
Maikel Franco‘s fielder’s choice-RBI later in the inning would tie the game at three. And Freddy Galvis‘ RBI-single would give the Birds a 4-3 lead. However Boston would get a couple of runners on in the ninth, and Dalbec’s fielder’s choice-RBI would tie the game. And Boston wasn’t finished. They’d put two on the board in the top of the tenth, walking away with a 6-4 win.