Baltimore Orioles: Jordan Lyles strong as Birds inch towards .500

With a victory tonight, the Baltimore Orioles are within four games of the .500 mark. It’s no coincidence that they’ve come to this point coinciding with when the starting pitching improved, as did the bullpen. If it begins and ends with starting pitching, it began and ended this evening against Anaheim with Jordan Lyles. He was outstanding, and he pitched to a quality start. Lyles’ line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

Lyles is all but anchoring the rotation at this point. In the absence of John Means, that is. And Anaheim may be having an underwhelming season to date, but they do have a formidable lineup that includes at least two generational talents. They were all kept at bay tonight.

Adley Rutschman got the O’s on the board with a solo homer in the last of the second. It was the first Camden Yards home run of his career. An inning later Ryan Mountcastle added an RBI-double, which doubled the Birds’ lead – to 2-0.

But Oriole bats weren’t through just yet. Trey Mancini would add an RBI-single in the fifth. Mountcastle would come up again as well, and tack on a sac fly-RBI. Anaheim would add a sac fly of their own by Suzuki in the seventh, but the Oriole bullpen didn’t allow anything further. Jorge Lopez closed out the game, giving the Orioles their fifth straight win.

The stunning thing is that the O’s remain in last place in the AL East. And sadly, there’s a vocal minority of fans who only look at the standings. And they don’t want to care about a last place team. But the savvy fans know that this team is coming on. It may not be this year, but once things start really clicking, watch out for the Baltimore Orioles.

The series continues tomorrow night at Camden Yards. Tyler Wells gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Anaheim’s Reid Detmer. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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