Baltimore Orioles: Improbable game and series win goes to the Birds

To paraphrase a popular baseball poem, the outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Baltimore Orioles (or “Baltimore Nine”) today. Nobody would have blamed the Birds for dropping today’s game. And it looked like that’s how things were trending when starter Keegan Akin gave up a grand slam to Sanchez in the second inning. Akin’s line: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 5 K.

Backing up for just a moment, the Orioles did hold the lead in this game after Austin Hays smacked a solo homer in the top of the second. However Sanchez’s grand slam in the bottom of the frame put NY ahead. And again, nobody would have blamed the O’s for packing it in.

But instead they chipped away. Jorge Mateo’s sac fly-RBI cut the lead to 4-2 in the fourth. However an inning later Rizzo’s RBI-single re-extended the NY lead to three runs.

But it was the Orioles who appeared to have something for which to play today. Each time New York put runs up, the Orioles came back. Cedric Mullins smacked a two-run homer in the sixth which brought the O’s to within 5-4. But a two-run homer by Sanchez in the bottom of the sixth gave New York a 7-4 lead.

But as I said, the O’s always came back. Jahmai Jones’ two-run double in the seventh again brought the Orioles to within one at 7-6. But this was the Orioles’ day, and the Orioles’ series in the Bronx. Jorge Mateo tied the game at seven with an RBI-single later in the inning, and Kelvin Gutierrez’s RBI-single gave them the lead for good. And the O’s defeated New York 8-7 at Yankee Stadium.

To review, the O’s fell in extra innings to New York on Friday night. But they came back to win the series with grind-em-out wins on Saturday and again this afternoon. That shows a lot of character in that clubhouse. Furthermore the O’s are getting contributions from guys like Gutierrez and Mateo. That’s a great sign going into next year. But for now, they’re at least leaving their mark on the AL playoff race.

The O’s now return home to open a three-game set with Kansas City tomorrow at Camden Yards. The O’s have yet to name a starter, but whomever he is he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Kris Bubic. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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