The Baltimore Orioles sent Adam Plutko to the mound to make a spot start in the series finale against New York this afternoon. And he spotted them four runs, including a two-run homer by Sanchez, and a solo shot by Frazier. Enter Baltimore kid Bruce Zimmerman in the second, and he seemingly stabilized everything. Zimmerman’s line: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R 1 BB, 6 K.
Zimmerman was recalled before the game for the purpose of bullpen strength, however his outing sent the message that he should have been put into the rotation outright today. Luckily for him, Oriole bats also came alive today.
Ryan Mountcastle’s RBI-double in the last of the first got the Birds on the board, cutting NY’s lead to 4-1. Pedro Severino would follow that up with an RBI-double of his own, making it 4-2. That merely foreshadowed the rest of the game.
The one bad pitch Zimmerman made resulted in a third inning solo homer by Judge. But he buckled back down, and Oriole bats picked him up. In the bottom of the third Mountcastle’s sac fly-RBI cut the lead to 5-3, followed by an RBI-double by Maikel Franco. Freddy Galvis’ RBI-single would tie the game at five after three innings.
Trey Mancini gave the Orioles the lead in the fourth with an RBI-single. And Maike Franco would give Bruce Zimmerman and the O’s some insurance runs in the seventh with a two-run homer. Mountcastle would add a two-RBI single in the eighth, and New York would add a meaningless run in the ninth. Ultimately the O’s took the finale of the series, 10-6.
But the story was Bruce Zimmerman. I suspect that he’ll be re-inserted into the rotation, once again giving the Birds five starters. His contribution this afternoon was more valuable than can be put into words. The zoo’s flat out lose this game if not for him. Where’s the line between winning and losing? Today that line was Bruce Zimmerman.
The O’s will have an off day tomorrow before Tampa comes in for a three-game mid-week set. Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 PM, and a 12:30 matinee on Thursday for the finale.