John Means’ start didn’t quite go according to plan for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon against Cleveland. He gave up two solo homers in the first inning. After the second one, he showed signs of discomfort. The trainers came out to check on Means, who ended up leaving the game. More on that later. Means’ line: .2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 1 K.
That of course HUGELY taxed the Orioles’ bullpen, but those are the breaks. The Birds came back in the last of the first and cut the lead in half on an RBI-single by Freddy Galvis. But Cleveland was given a huge advantage with Means leaving, and they took advantage. Third inning RBI-singles by Ramirez and Rosario would run the score to 4-1. Those two would later score on a three-run homer by Chang.
Cedric Mullins was one of the bright spots for the O’s. He went five-for-five on the afternoon, and smacked a solo homer in the last of the third to bring the O’s back to within 7-2. Cleveland would score again in the fifth on a passed ball, bringing Mullins to the plate again in the last of the fifth. And he launched A SECOND solo homer over the wall, cutting the lead to 8-3.
Cleveland would put two additional runs on the board later in the game, and the Orioles would also get a solo homer from Ryan Mountcastle. This is the first time in Mountcastle’s young career that he’s homered in three consecutive games. Needless to say, the ball was flying today.
The bigger concern of course is John Means. After the second homer he showed signs of discomfort. This after a circle changeup, which shouldn’t happen. Losing today isn’t a huge deal – it’s almost par for the course. Losing Means for any period of time would be tough.
Officially the Orioles said that Means had shoulder fatigue. But who knows what that means. If there’s a silver lining it would be that the Birds have off days on Monday and Thursday of this week. So they could feasibly skip Means on the rotation if need be, and put him on the IL retroactive to tomorrow. All of that remains to be seen.
The series concludes tomorrow at Camden Yards. (On a side note, tomorrow’s game will be the last ever in history in which the Cleveland Indians will appear in Baltimore, as the franchise is retiring the nickname after the season.) Jorge Lopez gets the call for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Cal Quantril. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.