The Baltimore Orioles are becoming more and more impressed with starter Chris Ellis. In general, if Tampa releases a pitcher with no apparent problem brewing, you might consider pouncing on him. The Orioles did, and it’s paying off. Ellis put them in a spot to win tonight against division-rival Toronto. Ellis’ line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K.
The Orioles may be playing spoiler right now. But they’re also getting a head start on seeing what they have going into next year. And Ellis appears to be a keeper. Tampa’s loss for once is the Orioles’ gain.
The lone run that Ellis surrendered came off an RBI-single by Bichette in the fifth. One inning later Toronto was within one at 3-2 on a fielder’s choice by Bichette (aided by a series of errors). It was one of the more bizarre plays you’ll see. It started with an errant throw to third, and culminated with an errant throw home. I’m between, the Toronto runner collided with an Oriole infielder, and – let’s just say that it was a mess. And the Orioles were lucky to surrender only one run.
Later in the sixth Semien’s run-scoring double tied things up at three. This of course prevented Ellis from having a shot at the win, but it doesn’t take away from how he pitched. And it doesn’t take away from how good he’s looked since joining the club.
But the Orioles weren’t about to be stopped tonight. They weren’t about to waste Ellis’ effort. They put two aboard in the seventh, bringing Anthony Santander to the plate. And his three-run home run gave the O’s a 6-3 lead. Which became a 6-3 win.
The series continues tomorrow at Camden Yards with a doubleheader (two seven inning games). Both teams are yet to announce their starters (for the first game). Game one is set to begin just after 4:30 PM.