Jorge Lopez turned in perhaps his best effort last night as a starter for the Baltimore Orioles. He didn’t stay around long enough to secure the win, but he put the Birds in a position to win the game. And that’s all one can ask, and it’s the job of a starting pitcher. Lopez’s line: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K.
The O’s took a 1-0 lead on a solo homer by Ryan Mountcastle in the second inning. Lopez struggled just a bit in the fourth, giving up a base hit and a HBP, and allowing both runners to advance on a wild pitch. Devers’ sac fly-RBI would later tie the game.
But Lopez limited the damage, which is a good thing. He also pitched out of a situation with a runner at third early in the fifth inning, not allowing the run to cross. In any of the first three games of the series that run would have scored, and probably led to a big inning for Boston. Not last night.
The Birds got the lead for good in the last of the sixth when Trey Mancini smacked a solo homer of his own. They say that solo home runs don’t beat you, but in a tie game they’re huge. Not only did that give the Orioles the lead, but also gave them momentum in the game.
Two innings later Mancini would net an RBI-single to give the Birds an insurance run. Freddy Galvis would add a second insurance run with a sac fly-RBI later in the inning. Boston went quietly in the ninth, and the O’s salvaged the series finale by a 4-1 score.
Manager Brandon Hyde praised Jorge Lopez after the game, along with the entire pitching effort overall:
So happy for Lopie. Got over the hump tonight, got through five and got into the sixth inning. Probably could have gone longer, but he hasn’t gone that far so far this year. We pitched so well tonight. I was so impressed with Lopie’s stuff, once again throwing 97 (mph) sinkers, utilizing all pitches, even throwing some sliders tonight. And then the other guys who came in just did a great job on the mound.Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports
But also keep in mind that Trey Mancini’s timely hitting played a huge role. He took advantage of the opportunities he was given to drive in runs. And that, along with solid pitching, is what wins you games.
The Orioles now head to Queens (NY) for a short two-game set with the New York Mets at Citi Field. John Means gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Marcus Stroman. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.