If results thus far this year are any indication, the Baltimore Orioles can only beat Oakland if John Means is on the mound. Means’ steady hand newt Oakland on Sunday at Camden Yards, and last night in Oakland. Means’ line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 9 K.
Yes you read that correctly; nine strikeouts. Means has had a great start to the season for the Orioles, and he’s taking full advantage of the opportunity he’s being given. I’ve even seen some fans online suggest that he should be traded for prospects. I suppose anything’s possible. But Means has the makings of a pitcher you want to keep for a long time. Unequivocally, I think that would be a bad mistake.
Oakland did take a 1-0 lead in the second on a Murphy solo homer. However solo homers generally don’t beat you. Although…I suppose one could say that they beat Oakland in a way.
The third inning told the tale of the game. Cedric Mullins tied the game at one with a solo homer. That brought Austin Hays to the plate, and he took the Orioles into the lead with a solo shot of his own. Back-to-back homers for the O’s was the story. So while it’s fashionable to say that solo homers won’t beat you, it’s safe to say that enough solo homer runs will. Two were enough last night.
Mullins would add a third run in the fifth on an RBI-groundout. Oakland’s Moreland would bring them back to within one in the seventh with a solo home run of his own. But after Means exited the Orioles’ pen was sure handed, and they closed out the game with no further incident.