Last night we saw rookie Gunnar Henderson step up in the clutch for the Baltimore Orioles. He’s only the most recent new face to make an impact in a big moment, which also includes Austin Voth, last night’s starter. Voth’s line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K.
It’s obvious that Brandon Hyde’s managing the games differently than he has to this point. Voth was removed after only four innings. Granted, Hyde would do that earlier in the season, and at times I was critical of it. But the situation in which the Orioles find themselves now, posturing for a playoff spot, is vastly different. You have to manage games differently, and that means matching up earlier in big games if need be.
Voth gave up a two-run homer to Bogaerts in the third inning. Other than that, Oriole pitching was strong, the bullpen was strong, and they mowed down Boston hitters as the game wore on.
The Birds loaded the bases on the sixth, as Boston starter Bello started to wear down. After they brought in reliever Kaleb Ort, Cedric Mullins scored from third in a passed ball. That cut the Boston lead in half at 2-1.
Gunnar Henderson strode to the plate later in the inning with the bases once again loaded. And the rookie came through in the clutch when the team needed him most. His two-RBI double gave the O’s the lead at 3-2. Which due to the strength of the Oriole bullpen, turned into a 3-2 win.
And a big win at that. Seattle fell to Atlanta last night, and the Orioles is stand four games out of the final wild card spot. And they placed Boston at 10.5 games out. For those who thought that the season was over after the Toronto series, remember that they say if you’re within five games at Labor Day, you have a fighting chance.
The series continues late this evening at Camden Yards. Jordan Lyles gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Michael Wacha. Game time is set for just after 5 PM.