Baltimore Orioles: One thing can snowball a game

Baltimore Orioles’ starter Matt Harvey pitched a decent first inning last night against Toronto. It was an incredible stroke of bad luck in what I think was a bad decision by the umpiring crew that snowballed the inning. And by extension the game. Harvey’s line: 3.2 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

Toronto put the first two hitters of the game on base. Guerrero then appeared to line out to center. However replays clearly showed that while Ryan KcKenna made a valiant effort to get to the ball, it popped out of his glove while he was on the ground. Needless to say, it was a base hit.

However the umpires awarded home plate to the runner on second, giving Toronto a 1-0 lead. They appeared to view this as a ground rule double; they placed two runners in scoring position with nobody out. And with Toronto leading 1-0.

Both of those runners in scoring position would end up scoring. Toronto led 3-0 after the first inning. I can’t quite grasp how they saw fit to turn a routine line drive to center field into a double. During the play, the Orioles tagged one base runner out, and at one point two runners were on first base. Yet this was disregarded by the umpires, and the Orioles got no outs. And found themselves trailing.

Gurriel’s RBI-single in the fourth extended the lead to 4-0. Bichette and Guerrero would also add RBI-singles, extending the lead to 6-0 and breaking the game wide open. Toronto would put up a run in the fifth, two in the sixth, and one in the eighth. Austin Hays’ sac fly-RBI in the fifth and Ryan Mountcastle’s RBI-single in the eighth rounded out the Birds’ 10-2 loss.

Often times a play such as that one in the first can set the tone. The O’s went from potentially having two outs to trailing and having two runners in scoring position – with no outs. And Harvey never recovered, as he ended up getting nitpicked to death in a sense.

The series concludes tonight at Camden Yards. Keegan Akin gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Alex Manoah. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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