Jorge Lopez got the ball for the Baltimore Orioles last night in the opener of a three-game set in Texas. He only stuck around for five innings. But that’s all you need to qualify for the win if you leave with the lead. And of course if your team retains it. Lopez’s line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 8 K.
Part of the Orioles’ issue of late has been that they couldn’t put together a winning starting pitching performance with the offense yielding results. That wasn’t the case last night. Cedric Mullins smacked an RBI-double in the third which got the O’s on the board with a 1-0 lead. One inning later they doubled that on Rio Ruiz‘s solo homer.
The Birds won the game however in the fifth. Anthony Santander‘s sac fly-RBI ran the score to 3-0. But the big blow came from DJ Stewart. His two-run homer would give the O’s a 5-0 lead. And that was big because in the bottom of the fifth Lopez gave up back-to-back home runs. However following his (Lopez’s) exit, the Orioles’ bullpen was strong, and closed out a 5-2 win.
DJ Stewart talked after the game about what hitting that homer meant to him and to the rest of the team (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
It was huge, just momentum-wise, confidence-wise. We had a meeting this morning and sometimes that’s how baseball is. It’s just not going our way, unlucky things, but it was big for us to get to them early and kind of put them away.