The Baltimore Orioles won the second game of a twin bill against Kansas City this afternoon, splitting the doubleheader. Baltimore area native Bruce Zimmermann got the start, and managed to deliver another quality start. Zimmermann’s line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 5 K.
For the second time today, the O’s had a starter who went deep into the ballgame. Jordan Lyles went 7.1 innings in game one earlier today, and Bruce Zimmermann pitched six. So the Oriole bullpen comes out of this doubleheader in fairly good shape. This with a makeup game tomorrow afternoon against these same Kansas City Royals tomorrow, and a road trip through St. Louis and Detroit looming this coming week.
Aside from Zimmermann’s shutdown performance (incidentally at one point he retired nine straight Kansas City hitters), the story of this game was written in the first inning. The O’s loaded the bases with nobody out, which seemed to bode well for the rest of the ballgame…
…and it boded well for that moment also. Cedric Mullins scored from third on a passed ball, giving the O’s a 1-0 lead. Ryan Mountcastle followed with an RBI-single, and Ramon Urias a sac fly-RBI. After one inning, the Birds held a 3-0 lead.
And that probably emboldened Bruce Zimmermann. He’s been the Orioles’ best pitcher thus far, but getting early runs makes a huge difference. In this specific case it also shows improvement from game one of the doubleheader where the O’s left quite a few runners on base.
Kansas City would push one across in the second on Merrifield’s sac fly-RBI. The Birds would grab an insurance run however in the fifth when Tyler Nevin smacked an RBI-single. Kansas City would attempt to rally in the sixth, but they could only muster a run on Dozier’s RBI-single. And the O’s went on to a 4-2 win.
A lot of players and coaches don’t like doubleheaders for various reasons (paramount of which has to do with the way it taxes players), but one of them is because most doubleheaders end up being split. Obviously that’s what we saw today. And that was due in large part to the effort from Bruce Zimmermann in the second game. And again, a solid outing by a starter in a doubleheader situation really helps a team out. So as I said above, the Oriole bullpen is in good shape going forward.
The series with Kansas City concludes tomorrow with a makeup game at Camden Yards. Tyler Wells gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Carlos Hernandez. Game time is set for just after 12 PM.