Baltimore Orioles: Speed wins ballgames

The Baltimore Orioles entered yet another important series this evening, this one at Toronto’s Rogers Centre. Kyle Bradish got the start for the O’s against Toronto, and he set the tone for Brandon Hyde and company. Bradish’s line: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 5 K.

The Orioles took an almost immediate lead when Anthony Santander smacked an RBI-single in the first inning. Ryan Mountcastle would follow two innings later with a two-run homer, extending the Orioles’ lead. At that point the Birds found themselves up, 3-0.

However Toronto almost got even in the last of the third. They loaded the bases with nobody out, and Gurriel smacked a two-RBI single. However Bradish pitched out of it from there, preserving the Orioles’ lead.

That third inning was possibly the key to the game. The Orioles bent but didn’t break. That inning could have been a disaster in terms of winning or losing the game. But Bradish stayed solid, gave up the two runs, and got back into the dugout.

And from there the O’s kind of broke things open. Tyler Nevin reached on a fielder’s choice in the fourth, with Jorge Mateo at third. Mateo dashed home like a madman, and was safe – giving the O’s a 4-2 lead. Ryan McKenna added a two-RBI double, and Adley Rutschman a sac fly-RBI before the inning ended, giving the Birds a 6-2 advantage.

And that Nevin fielder’s choice-RBI was huge. It solidified the O’s in the driver’s seat. They had almost surrendered the lead the previous inning, and just that one run (along of course with the runs that followed) reaffirmed that this was their game to lose. And that ultimately didn’t happen – the O’s losing the game, that is.

The O’s would score again in the fifth on a Terrin Vavra double-play ball, and Guerrero would smack a solo homer in the last of the fifth. And the Oriole bullpen took care of the rest, as the Birds went home 7-3 winners in game one at Rogers Centre.

Don’t downplay the importance of speed. This is a totally different game if Jorge Mateo doesn’t run as hard as he can tagging from their. Speed can definitely win games. We’re seeing it first hand.

The series continues tomorrow night at Rogers Centre. Dean Kremer gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Alek Manoah. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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