Tampa always seems to find a new way to beat the Baltimore Orioles, even when John Means pitches. And Means was good last night, but he was lifted early due to a high pitch count. Means’ line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K.
Means seemed to indicate after the game that he wasn’t totally hitting on his fastball, as in fastball command. Means on his outing:
It was the definition of a grind of a start. That’s what happens when the fastball command isn’t just quite there. I wasn’t commanding in well, I wasn’t commanding going away well. I had to use every pitch from pitch one to pitch 94. I wasn’t able to get in a groove and this team is pesky. They’ve got me the last couple times. But I’m proud that I grinded it through.Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports
Ryan Mountcastle’s RBI-single in the first inning gave the O’s an early 1-0 lead. However Mountcastle got bopped ever so slightly on the head when he was thrown out trying to steal, and had to leave the game. He remains in concussion protocol. On top of that injury, Trey Mancini fouled a ball off his groin in the fifth and was down for a few minutes. As the title suggests, some losses hurt more than others.
I’m typical Tampa fashion, they took the lead in the second on a softly hit ball – an infield hit at that. Kiermaier hit a very soft grounder to Mountcastle, who threw to John Means covering first base – Means bobbled the throw, and two runs scored. However Pedro Severino’s solo homer in the bottom of the inning tied the game back up. And they took the lead later in the inning on Richie Martin’s RBI-double.
The O’s actually appeared to pull away in this game at one point. Austin Hays’ solo homer in the third gave them a 4-2 lead. That was extended to 5-2 on Jorge Mateo’s RBI-triple in the last of the fifth. Mateo was claimed off of waivers by the O’s on Thursday from San Diego. He made an immediate impact.
But Tampa refuses to lose – frequently. Cruz smacked a three-run homer in the sixth, immediately tying the game. They would also put five runs across in the eighth, and the Birds put one across (in the eighth). This shoving the O’s down to defeat once again.
The series continues this evening at Camden Yards. Spenser Watkins gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Shane McClanahan. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.