Baltimore Orioles: Keegan Akin for the win in a losing effort

The Baltimore Orioles started Thomas Eshelman this afternoon agains the ChiSox, however it was Keegan Akin (as a reliever) who was the big story. Eshelman was hit by a line drive in the third inning, and was never really the same. Eshelman’s line: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 1 K.

Goodwin smacked a solo home run in the second to give Chicago a 1-0 lead. Anderson’s ground rule RBI-double in the third ran it to 2-0. And once again, the Orioles fall victim to a quirky play. Anderson sent a screaming ground ball down the first base line. The ball boy – yes, the ball boy – fielded the ball and interfered with the play. The guy knew he messed up, but it may well have cost the Orioles a run with a runner on second base. It always seems to be something.

However before Anderson came up to bat, Eshelman got hit by a comebacker in the shin. To his credit he attempted to field the ball and throw the runner out at first base, but he went down in a heap in foul territory in front of the Orioles’ dugout. He stayed in the game, but he didn’t appear to be the same after that. Following Mondada’s RBI-double and a walk, he was lifted in favor of Akin.

Akin pitched 4.1 innings in relief for the O’s today. And in doing so saved potentially two bullpen relievers in an already-taxed bullpen. The game was already going south when he entered and he did give up four runs himself, however he ate innings for the Orioles. That‘a not something that appears in a box score. But he performed a valuable service.

Domingo Leyba’s RBI-single in the last of the fourth put the O’s on the board, cutting Chicago’s lead to 4-1. However Chicago would put two across in the fifth and two in the seventh. Those runs of course sandwiched around a second Leyba RBI-single in the sixth.

The Orioles did threaten in the eighth – sort of. They loaded the bases, and Austin Hays walked, cutting the ChiSox lead to 8-3. However that was as close as the Orioles would get, falling once again to Chicago.

The series concludes tomorrow afternoon at Camden Yards. Spencer Watkins gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Chicago’s Dylan Cease. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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