Baltimore Orioles: All’s well that ends well; Birds defeat New York

The Baltimore Orioles gave Jorge Lopez a getaway day start in the series finale with New York tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Once again we saw Lopez be fairly solid, save for one pitch, but he didn’t have the staying power that the Orioles would like. Lopez’s line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 3 K.

In fairness, the Orioles’ bullpen has consistently been strong. I write a lot about starters not going deep into games, but this particular pitching staff may be designed so as not to have the starter go deep. Or at least to not need them to go deep into a game. However my point would be why wouldn’t you want them to go deep? Nevertheless, the bullpen has been sure. Much more so than the starting rotation.

Trey Mancini put the Birds on the board right off the bat with an RBI-single in the first inning. As I’ve said, when you get guys on base, good things can often happen. O’s end up with an early base runner, and thus an early lead.

But that lead evaporated in the fifth. Lopez loaded the bases, and Odor came up to bat with two outs. His two-RBI single gave New York a 2-1 lead. As this pitching duel ensued, the Orioles needed a spark. They needed someone to kick them back into control of the game. And it ended up being the guy who gave them the lead to begin with – Trey Mancini. His solo homer in the last of the sixth tied the game back up at two, and kickstarted the Birds.

And that kickstart appeared to give them the eventual winning run. Cedric Mullins drew a walk in the eighth inning. He would come around to score and give the Birds a 3-2 lead on Austin Hays‘ RBI-double (Hays would take third on the throw). But that was the only run the Birds could muster in the inning. However it gave them the lead.

However manager Brandon Hyde thought the Orioles should have gotten a fourth run. New York reliever O’Day appeared to balk, which should have scored Hays from third. However the balk wasn’t called, which in a one-run game was a big deal. Hyde argued between innings, but to no avail.

And it was with good reason that Hyde argued. Torres was down to his final strike in the ninth inning, and smacked an RBI-single which tied the game at three. The Orioles were once again frustrated, because the strike zone got really small in the ninth inning. But the game went to extra innings.

And the O’s would eventually benefit from the new rules placing a runner at second base. I’m still not a fan of the rule, but it benefited the O’s today. The runner was bunted over to third, and Cedric Mullins’ sac fly-RBI won it for the O’s. However even that wasn’t without controversy. New York challenged the call, claiming that Mullins left third base early. The review probably lasted for longer than the Orioles would have liked, but the call was upheld and the Birds ended up with a 4-3 win in ten innings.

The Orioles now head out west for a three-game set with the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum. John Means gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Mike Fiers. Game time is set for just after 9:30 PM.

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