Matt Harvey was technically the starter for the Baltimore Orioles tonight. However that was in name only, as he acted as an “opener.” The Birds needed a starter for tonight’s game, and rather than making a roster move they allowed Harvey to do his side session in a game today. Harvey’s line: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K.
It’s almost a tough thing to ask of a starting pitcher, as he knows he isn’t pitching to get the win – given that he’s only going a max of three innings. But Harvey did what was asked of him, surrendering only a second inning solo homer to Jeffers.
Maikel Franco would reach on an error in the last of the fourth, allowing a run to score and tying the game up at one. One inning later the man who came in to score in that sequence, DJ Stewart, would smack a two-run home run. That gave the O’s a 3-1 lead.
Ryan Mountcastle would break the game wide open in the last of the seventh. His three-run home run doubled the number of runs the Birds had scored, giving them a 6-1 lead. Minnesota would put two across in the eighth, but it wasn’t enough as the Orioles cruised to a 6-3 victory.
Reliever Tyler Wells came in behind Matt Harvey, and pitched three strong innings in relief. He qualified for the win, his first in the majors. Over three innings in the game, Wells struck out two, and surrendered one hit.
The O’s of course snapped a 14-game losing streak overall last night, as well as a 16-game losing streak against Minnesota. So they go from that extreme to winning two straight, and winning a series. That’s quite a swing. And they’ll celebrate it tomorrow with a day off at home before Cleveland comes in on Friday night.