The 2022 Baltimore Orioles are typifying the concept of something magic happening everytime you go. This team finds ways to win, and they have more heart than any Orioles team we’ve seen in some time. Kyle Bradish took to the mound last night against Toronto at Camden Yards, setting the tone for the O’s. Bradish’s line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K.
One of the more important plays in the game was subtle, and it came in the first inning. With runners at first and second (nobody out) Anthony Santander sent a soft line drive to center. Toronto’s center fielder (Merrifield) appeared to catch the ball, okay it back in, and catch both runners (who thought the ball would fall in) off base for an inning-ending triple play. Or was it?
Something looked “off” on the play from the beginning. Sure enough Brandon Hyde challenged the call, and sure enough the umpires ruled that Merrifield had trapped the ball. Meaning it was in play, and everyone was safe – thus loading the bases with nobody out. That’s a HUGE difference in terms of the result of the play. Ryan Mountcastle would later ground into a double-play and Terrin Vavra would smack an RBI-single, giving the O’s a 2-0 lead.
Toronto would get on the board in the second with a solo homer by Bichette. Vavra’s sac fly-RBI in third extended the lead to 3-1. However in the sixth Toronto struck back. Kirk’s RBI-single brought them to within 3-2. But Bichette would strike again later in the inning, giving Toronto a 5-3 lead with a two-run homer.
The teams went back to their respective clubhouses in the middle of the sixth, sitting through a 78-minute rain delay. When play resumed Ryan Mountcastle got the O’s back to within one with an RBI-double in the last of the seventh. One inning later Rougned Odor came to the plate with a runner on base…
…Rougned Odor, mind you, who the Orioles were widely criticized for signing. Granted he’s only hitting .196 for the season, but is a vocal leader in the clubhouse. And yes that’s the same Rougned Odor who would smack a two-run homer last night in the last of the eighth, sending the Birds to a 6-5 victory over Toronto.
Going back to the triple play that wasn’t in the first inning, the O’s put two runs across in the wake of that. In a one-run ballgame, that’s a huge moment. It played a big role in the win, and a big role in the Orioles now having won the series with Toronto.
And it played a big role in the Orioles now sitting a half game out of a playoff spot. Tampa, who currently occupies that spot, plays in Milwaukee this afternoon prior to the O’s playing tonight. And the Orioles go to Tampa this weekend for three games. Moments of consequence. For the Orioles. In August.
The series with Toronto concludes this evening at Camden Yards. Dean Kremer gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Jose Berrios. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.