The Baltimore Orioles sent starter Chris Ellis to the mound this evening. It would stand to reason to me that Brandon Hyde (and Mike Elias) knows what Ellis is capable of doing. Furthermore it would stand to reason that Ellis probably is included in the Birds’ 2022 Spring Trainng plans – because Ellis pitched well tonight, but was lifted after three innings. Ellis’ line: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K.
Brandon Hyde managed this game in short like a Spring Training game. He mixed and matched pitchers and hitters, and all but had a schedule of who was going to pitch tonight. It’s amazing how sometimes the end of the season can resemble Spring Training.
And the good news is that to a man, every Oriole pitcher used recorded outs. Nobody “blew it,” per se, and they all held up the integrity of a pitcher’s duel.
But Texas seemed to hold up it’s end of the bargain as well. They held the Orioles off the board for the most part. For most of the game, at least.
But that ended in the seventh inning. With a runner at first Pat Valaika sent a double all the way to the wall in left field. And it went down as an RBI-double, as Mancini scored from first. And the Birds had a 1-0 lead.
Later in the inning Kelvin Gutierrez smacked a two-run homer, and the O’s led 3-0. And those two runs ended up being insurance runs. Because Texas would smack solo homers in the eighth and ninth innings, but the O’s held on for a 3-2 lead.
The O’s have pitched very well the last couple of weeks, but their late-game pitching has been somewhat suspect. Last night Texas put five runs across late to win. Toronto’s caused the O’s some horrific ninth innings. And for a split second, it could have happened again tonight. Something to work on next year in Sarasota.
The series with Texas concludes tomorrow. John Means gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Texas’ Dane Dunning. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.