Baltimore Orioles: Bruce Zimmermann takes one for the team in Birds’ loss

Jordan Lyles was supposed to start game two of today’s doubleheader against Toronto for the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. However he woke up “under the weather” this morning, and Brandon Hyde moved him back to starting the night cap. However he was unable to go even for the second game, and reliever Keegan Akin was told he’d be starting about ten minutes before first pitch. Akin’s line: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

Given the timeframe of when he found out he was starting, Akin was really good. He had the lead early when Roughned Odor smacked a solo homer in the last of the second. However Bichette smacked a three-run homer in the third, giving Toronto a 3-1 lead. Two of those runs were charged to Akin, putting him in line for the loss.

However the biggest takeaway from this game was Bruce Zimmermann, who was activated between games. He came in to pitch the fourth, and despite giving up five runs, pitched the duration of the game. He lobbied to come back out and pitch the ninth, as he knew he’d be doing the team a favor by saving a reliever. Despite dropping this doubleheader, there are still two games to play in this series (tomorrow and Wednesday). And basically a whole month’s worth of games to play, which will decide this Orioles’ team’s fate for 2022. Zimmermann’s effort means a lot. And it shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Toronto got solo home runs in the sixth by Bichette and Biggio. They also got a two-RBI double by Bradley (JR), extending their lead to 7-1. The O’s would attempt a small rally, although it’s tough to come from six down in just a few innings. They loaded the bases in the seventh, and Roughned Odor was awarded home plate on catcher’s interference. Adley Rutschman grounded into a fielder’s choice-RBI later in the inning as well.

Prior to that however, Toronto’s Bichette smacked his third solo homer of the ballgame, and the O’s finished the seventh inning down 8-3. Bichette would finally record an out in the ninth, leaving him at 3-for-4 on day, with three homers.

Rutschman would add a solo home run in the last of the ninth, but the O’s fell 8-3. They’re now 4.5 games back of Toronto for a wild card spot. You hate to get swept in a doubleheader, especially at this stage of the season, and in the position in which the O’s find themselves. And at home on top of that. But there’s still a lot of baseball left to play. And a lot of baseball against Toronto at that.

The series continues tomorrow night at Camden Yards. Kyle Bradish gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Mitch White. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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