Baltimore Orioles: Ryan Mountcastle grounds the Tribe

This is somewhat of a historic weekend at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, as the Baltimore Orioles welcome in the Cleveland Indians for the final series in their existence. Next year Cleveland will be playing under a new name. And Keegan Atkin got them off to a good start in this historic series, by dominating Cleveland hitters while in the game. Akin’s line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

How do you keep the opponent off the board? You deny them base runners. Akin allowed four over five innings. He put the O’s in a position to win, which as I’ve said many times is all you can ask of a starting pitcher.

The O’s did surrender a run after Akin departed, however. Ramirez’s RBI-triple gave Cleveland a 1-0 lead. Now it’s worth mentioning that there was a runner on first base due to a base hit, which came despite the shift. The Orioles shifted the infield around, leaving the middle exposed. And that’s where the ball was hit. Sometimes it helps you, but other time the shift comes back to haunt you.

But when you’re trailing 1-0, that means you only need to score two to take the lead. Ryan Mountcastle came up in the last of the seventh with a runner on, and sent one deep into the Baltimore night. It appeared that the Cleveland left fielder might have a play. But it hit off a fan in the front row for a two-run homer.

Or did it? Needless to say it was close to Dan interference. However the replay showed that the fan(s) in question never reached over the wall. The Cleveland left fielder was definitely impacted by their presence, but their hands never came over the wall. This the home run was upheld on review. In fact, it clonked one fan in the nose!

Anthony Santander would add a sac fly-RBI in the last of the eighth, sending the Birds to a 3-1 victory. As I said, these are the final games that the visitor will ever play in Baltimore as the Cleveland Indians. And the O’s certainly got this historic series off to a good start.

The series continues tomorrow at Camden Yards. John Means gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Aaron Civale. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

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