The Baltimore Orioles looked to knock Toronto down a leg this afternoon in the first of two games today at Camden Yards. They called Mike Baumann up from triple-A to make the start. He was also the 29th man on the roster, as permitted under the rules governing doubleheaders. Baumann’s line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 2 K.
Baumann made his first big league start today, although he did spend some time technically in the big leagues earlier this year on the Birds’ taxi squad. He didn’t look “crisp but certainly not awful. He made some good pitches, and he has a few things upon which to build.
Anthony Santander gave the O’s the lead in the last of the first at 1-0. Toronto would tie it up in the second on an RBI-single by Biggio. And the game would be tied until the third when Kirk would ground into a fielder’s choice, scoring a run. Bichette would come up in the fifth, and ground into a fielder’s choice of his own, giving Toronto a 3-1 lead.
On both of the aforementioned fielder’s choice’s, Gunnar Henderson flubbed balls – leading to a run being scored. You can excuse that, given the fact that he’s fresh up last week from the minors for the first time. Also given how hot he’s started. However those are mistakes that can and will cost you games, even given the fact that Henderson’s a rookie. Incidentally neither play was scored an error, as you can’t assume a double-play; and the O’s did record outs on the plays.
The Birds did attempt to rally a couple of times, however. Ryan Mountcastle smacked an RBI-double in the sixth. However come the eighth Hernandez smacked a two-run home run, giving Toronto some insurance. And the O’s rallied AGAIN, with Anthony Santander smacking a solo homer in the last of the eighth. However Toronto put three across in the ninth, giving them a 7-3 lead in the first of a twin bill.
The Orioles’ dugout and manager Brandon Hyde were livid for most of the game (along with the crowd). Home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez’s strike zone seemed inconsistent – at best. Numerous Oriole hitters were rung up on pitches that didn’t appear close to the zone. Yet when the O’s were in the field those same pitches were called balls. That certainly didn’t help matters.
The Orioles also surrendered hits late in the game on two-strike counts. Again, those types of things can’t happen – especially in a playoff push. When you get to two strikes, you need to put the hitter away. But the good news is that they’ll have another chance to do that, today!
The series (and the doubleheader) continues later this afternoon at Camden Yards. Jordan Lyles gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Jose Berrios. Game time is set for approximately 5:05 PM this afternoon.