Kyle Bradish made his maiden start at Boston’s vaulted Fenway Park last night for the Baltimore Orioles. Needless to say, he wasn’t the first pitcher to struggle mightily at “the Fens,” and he won’t be the last. Bradish’s line: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 3 K.
The first five Boston hitters of the game reached base. This includes an RBI-single by Devers, and a three-run homer by Bogaerts. A lot of pitchers have had jitters pitching with that green wall behind them at Fenway. So while you never want to present excuses for losing or playing poorly, Bradish is in good company. And this one start won’t define him as a pitcher; heck, I would submit that this entire season won’t define him as a pitcher. That will come years down the road.
Verdugo smacked a two-RBI double in the second, and Boston appeared off to the races. The O’s had that deer-in-the-headlight look about them. They did however get two back. Anthony Santander’s fourth inning two-run homer cut the lead to 6-2.
However Boston kept the pressure on. Martinez would follow in the bottom of that fourth inning with an RBI-double. One inning later Vasquez’s RBI-single gave them an 8-2 lead over the O’s. At this point most teams are just playing out a string to get through the game, right?
But the Orioles aren’t most teams. They don’t stop playing until the final out. So it should have come as no surprise to anyone when Jorge Mateo smacked a three-run homer in the seventh to cut the Boston lead to 8-5. Just as Austin Hays two-run shot an inning later should have shocked nobody.
The O’s had fought their way back into the ballgame. And they tied it at eight later in the eighth on a run-scoring single by Ramon Urias, combined with an error. And suddenly it was Boston who had a deer-in-the-headlights look about them.
As we went to the ninth inning you could feel the winds of Orioles Magic blowing through venerable old Fenway “Pahk.” Anthony Santander’s RBI-single gave the Birds a 9-8 lead. Santander would later score on a wild pitch. Santander would later score on a wild pitch. Ryan Mountcastle would add a sac fly-RBI to extend the lead to 11-8, and the inning was capped off by Rougned Odor’s RBI-single. And the Birds ended up with a 12-8 victory.
That’s about as improbable a victory as you’re going to see. There usually isn’t much hope when your starter spots the opponent six runs and leaves in the second inning. But this is a resilient group of Orioles. And they’re well deserving of taking of the tradition of Orioles Magic.
The series continues tomorrow afternoon in game one of a doubleheader at Fenway Park. The Orioles’ starter is TBD, but whomever he is will be opposed by Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi. Game time is set for just after noon.