Baltimore Orioles: Getting fat off of Oakland mistakes

The Baltimore Orioles opened perhaps the biggest home stand since 2016 this evening at Oriole Park at Camden Yards as Oakland came to town. Dean Kremer got the start, and added his name to the list of recent quality starts by Oriole starting pitchers. Kremer’s line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K.

I think the best part about these Oriole starters is that they’ve consistently gotten better as the season’s gone on. And this without the services of their ace, John Means, for most of the year. But as time’s gone on, they’ve gotten stronger. So has the bullpen. and that’s a testament to how this team’s been put together.

The O’s took a 1-0 lead in the last of the third on an RBI-single by Robinson Chirinos. Ryan Mountcastle added an RBI-single later in the game, and the O’s found themselves ahead 2-0. And that lead held for two innings, until the fifth. Kemp smacked a two-RBI single, and the game was suddenly tied.

But that was the only blip on the radar for the Orioles and Kremer. Unfortunately while he pitched to a quality start, the game was tied when Kremer left after the sixth inning. He pitched well enough to get the win, however it just didn’t happen for him this evening.

The Birds led off the last of the eighth with a walk by Anthony Santander, and a base bit by Ryan Mountcastle. But it wasn’t just any single. Mountcastle tapped a slow grounder to Bride, the Oakland second baseman. Bride wanted to go to second to turn two, but he didn’t have the angle on the base runner. By the time he tried to throw back to first to get Mountcastle, he was safe at first.

Keep in mind that for years the O’s would make mistakes like that. And other teams would get fat off of those almost predictable errors, and that cost the O’s a boatload of games. Now, the shoe appears to be on the other foot.

Ramon Urias laid down a sacrifice bunt, putting two runners in scoring position. The Birds pinch-hit with Cedric Mullins, who was intentionally walked to load the bases. Brandon Hyde decided to send up another pinch hitter, this one in the form of Adley Rutschman. Who has a great knowledge of the strike zone…

…and Rutschman worked the count and walked, giving the O’s the lead back at 3-2. That was about as professional and as clutch an at-bay as you’re going to see. And it came from Rutschman, a rookie. The Orioles would also get insurance runs off of a two-RBI single by Jorge Mateo, and they strode home with a 5-2 win.

Again, the O’s are now holding other people accountable for their mistakes in games. Mistakes happen, no doubt. But you have to look at the mistakes of your opponents as opportunities. And the Orioles seized their opportunities tonight. And they were rewarded with a win. And a big one at that.

The series continues tomorrow night at Camden Yards. Austin Voth gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Adam Oller. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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