Baltimore Orioles: Spencer Watkins, Oriole bats strong as Birds light up ChiSox

Spencer Watkins made his return to the majors this afternoon for the Baltimore Orioles. He was taxed with keeping a fairly powerful, but struggling ChiSox team at bay, on the South Side of Chicago. You know, the “baddest part of town” – this according to the late Jim Croce. Nevertheless, Watkins delivered for his team and it’s fans this afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field. Watkins’ line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

At first glance, one might argue that five innings pitched is far from outstanding. But Watkins was placing the ball wherever he wanted, at will. Nothing seemed to phase him, yet the Chicago bats he was facing never seemed to figure him out. And that bodes well for the O’s. For what it’s worth, the game started in a 90 minute rain delay.

The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Jorge Mateo smacked a solo home run. While that set the table for the game, Chicago would tie it up later in that third inning on Robert’s run-scoring single, aided by a Mateo error. And on we went in a tie.

But the game only remained tied until the fifth. Mateo would cross home plate again when Cedric Mullins reached base on an E5. Two innings later the O’s would load the bases (in the seventh). Trey Mancini was hit by a pitch, scoring another run and giving the O’s a 3-1 lead.

Mancini would later have X-rays on his hand (after the game), which came back negative. He appeared to be fine. So did Austin Hays, who later in that seventh inning would smack a bases-clearing double, blowing the game wide open at 6-1.

Chicago would score once more on an RBI-groundout in the last of the ninth. But the O’s would take the game, 6-2, and with that have won the first three games of this series in a Chicago. They’ve guaranteed themselves a series win, and have the opportunity to sweep tomorrow. With one more win before the end of the month, they’ll also clinch a winning month for the first time since 2017.

The aforementioned series conclusion is tomorrow at Guaranteed Rate Field. Jordan Lyles gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Chicago’s Dylan Cease. Game time is set for just after 2 PM.

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