Leave it to Tampa to spoil John Means’ return to the Baltimore Orioles from the Injured List. Now on one hand, it would have been tough to expect Means to be what he was before going on the IL. It was a win just to have him back on the mound. But he did have his struggles. Means’ line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 2 K.
I don’t think that fans need to worry about this signaling impending doom regarding John Means. He was actually better than his numbers indicate. His strike to ball ratio was about 2:1. And if anything that could have been part of the issue – he was getting too much of the plate. But he’ll work his way back to where he was previously.
Brujan’s RBI-single in the first got Tampa on the board with a 1-0 lead. Franco’s sac fly-RBI later in the inning ran it to 2-0. The Birds would get one back an inning later on Pedro Severino’s RBI-single.
Arozarena’s solo homer in the third have Tampa their two-run lead back at 3-1. And an inning after that Mejia’s two-run homer appeared to break the game wide open for Tampa, giving them a 5-2 lead. However remember how I talk about the strange things that happen when Tampa plays the Orioles? Yeah, about that…
When I say strange things, most of the time I’m referring to Tampa taking the opportunities afforded to them. They seem to have no problem taking what the Orioles give them. But turnabout could have been fair play tonight.
Ryan Mountcastle his what should have been a sac fly with a runner at third in the top of the eighth. However Tampa right fielder Lowe dropped the ball. So Mountcastle would end up on second base. He would later score on Anthony Santander’s run-scoring single.
While the O’s never got any further than 5-3, that’s all a good sign. They held Tampa accountable for their mistake. The Mountcastle play would have yielded a run either way, as he was on third base with less than two outs. But the Birds made Tampa pay for what they did. And again, that’s a good sign. Tampa’s Mejia would smack a bases-clearing triple in the eighth, and Choi added an RBI-single, sending the Birds off to defeat this evening, 9-3.
The series concludes tomorrow at Tropicana Field. Keegan Akin gets the start for the Birds, and Tampa is yet to name a starter. Game time is set for just after 12 PM.