Baltimore Orioles slug their way out of controversy and onto victory

Austin Voth didn’t surrender even a hit in tonight’s game for the Baltimore Orioles – that is until the sixth inning. And that came after a lengthy delay while manager Brandon Hyde argued with umpires about a call where he felt the O’s got hosed. Voth’s line: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K.

But winning this game was more about getting guys on base and then getting them in than it was anything else. The Orioles put 19 hits on the board, a season high. And it started with Adley Rutschman’s solo homer in the first.

Jorge Mateo’s RBI-double in the second extended the lead to 2-0. Rutschman would come up again in the fifth, netting the Birds a run on a sac fly-RBI. And that’s part of the story of this game; the O’s just kind of kept talking runs on.

However the top of the sixth brought some controversy, which could have changed the game. With a runner on second and nobody out, Terrin Vavra hit a swinging bunt back to the pitcher, who threw wide of first base. This allowed a run to score. However the umpires ruled that Vavra ran inside the base line, interfering with the throw, and he was called out.

The call was questionable at best. Brandon Hyde came out and argued for awhile, but it was to no avail. End of the day that’s a judgement call. As I said, it was questionable at best. But that was the sort of moment that’s capable of swaying a game. The O’s only led by three at that point…

…but instead, the Orioles used it as a launching point. A launching point to seal the win. The O’s put four runs on the board, taking a 7-0 lead following that moment in the sixth. This included RBI-singles by Jorge Mateo and Cedric Mullins.

Tampa did attempt a comeback. Arozarena smacked a two-run homer on the last of the sixth. But the O’s kept adding on. Odor added an RBI-single, in the seventh, and Cedric Mullins a solo homer in the eighth. Tampa’s Walks would wedge an RBI-double in between those two runs, and Ramon Urias would add a sac fly-RBI in the last of the eighth.

With their 10-3 win this evening, the Al’s have now taken some possession of the final wild card spot in the American League. If the season ended today, they’d be in the playoffs. The team they catapulted over? Tampa.

The series continues tomorrow at Tropicana Field. The Birds have yet to announce a starter, but whomever he is will be opposed by Tampa’s Shane Mclanahan. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

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