If there’s one drawback to the Baltimore Orioles’ victory over Houston last night it’s that spot starter Travis Lakins Sr. had to leave the game early with shoulder soreness. Ironically, Houston’s starter had the same fate. In a game that was already a bullpen game, that’s a problem. Lakins’ line: 1.2 IP, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K.
Cedric Mullins homering on the first pitch of the game however was a harbinger of things to come. Houston would even the score in the second on Toro’s sac fly-RBI. This after a phantom balk call on Lakins, advancing the runner to third.
The teams would trade two-RBI singles in the fifth, tying the game at three. Austin Hays struck for the O’s. The good news at that point was that the Orioles (who had won the previous night) were going to the brink against one of the best teams in baseball. And a team that utterly dominated them last week at that.
And the Orioles’ resilience was rewarded. Cedric Mullins’ RBI-double in the seventh gave them the lead back in the seventh. And 4-3 was the closest Houston would get to the lead. What ensued after that was pure theater. This in the sense of how many runs the Birds were actually going to put on the board.
The eighth inning brought a barrage of runs. Anthony Santander smacked a solo homer, Maikel Franco a bases-clearing double, and Austin Hays an RBI-single. That brought us to 9-0, but the Birds weren’t done yet. In the ninth Ramon Urias and Austin Wynns added on two-run homers.
When the smoke cleared (translated: when the game ended), the Orioles had defeated perennial contender Houston 13-3 at their place. Most people probably didn’t have the Birds winning this series, but this is why you play the games. This is why players put on opposite uniforms and compete.
Again the one point of concern was Lakins. I would bet that he’s on his way to the IL with the injury last night. Now that said, it wouldn’t have shocked me to have seen him optioned after the game anyways to get a fresh arm in the bullpen. So I suspect that the someone from the “taxi squad” will be called up for tonight’s game. The O’s are off on Thursday prior to heading out to Los Angeles for the Fourth of July weekend, so hopefully some form of regrouping the bullpen will occur then.
The O’s will go for the series sweep this evening against Minute Maid Park. Matt Harvey gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Houston’s Luis Garcia. Game time is set for just after 8 PM.