If you’re Tampa, you pretty much know that no matter what happens you’re going to get just about every bounce when you play the Baltimore Orioles. Somehow, some way, it just seems that the Birds always find a way to lose against Tampa, and this has been a problem for years. One would have thought that with John Means on the mound last night things might have been different. But they weren’t. Means’ line: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 6 K.
Trey Mancini got the O’s off to a good start with a solo homer in the first inning. But it was the second inning where the Birds did the gist of their damage. Freddy Galvis hit a solo shot of his own, and when Mancini’s spot came up again the bases were loaded. And Mancini delivered big time, with a bases-clearing double.
It was one of those moments whereby you figured it blew the game wide open. And in fact it did. But the Orioles should know better than to relax with any lead against Tampa. So should the fans. Because Tampa always finds a way.
Brosseau smacked a two-run homer in the fifth, cutting the lead to 5-2. Arozarena’s solo shot later in the inning cut it to 5-3. Now the O’s hadn’t totally relaxed at that point. At least Trey Mancini hadn’t. His solo homer in the last of the fifth would extend the lead to 6-3.
However Tampa would put three on the board in the seventh to tie the game – an RBI-single by Choi, and a two-run homer by Arozarena. Means actually left with the lead, despite tiring in the seventh. They probably changed pitchers at just the right moment in a sense. However by then Tampa also had their sea legs underneath them.
They always seem to have the Orioles’ number, no matter what. Last night they came back from five down. Who knows what it’ll be today?
Choo’s RBI-single in the eighth would give Tampa the lead at 7-6. Tampa would put two more across in the inning, including one on a wild pitch. And that’s part of how they win games. They get guys on base. And when you get guys on base things such as wild pitches can happen. Pedro Severino would add an RBI-single for the O’s in the ninth, but it was too little too late.
The O’s will try to salvage one game in the series this afternoon in the finale. Dean Kremer gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Rich Hill. Game time is set for just after 12:30 PM.