Baltimore Orioles: Mike Baumann sparks the Birds to victory

Kyle Bradish got the start this afternoon for the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field against Tampa. It was a rare Grapefruit League game in a major league park, as Tampa’s facility was damaged in last year’s hurricane. They’re playing all of their home games for the remainder of the spring. Bradish’s line: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

The Birds got on the board early. Ryan Mountcastle smacked a two-RBI triple in the first inning, giving the O’s a 2-0 lead. Tampa would cut into that lead in the second on a solo homer by Siri. Two innings later in the fourth Arozarena would smack a solo shot of his own, tying the game at two.

Arozarena was a thorn in the Orioles’ side for much of last year. And today was just more of that. He tied the game, and he ran down numerous Oriole line drives in the outfield. It is what it is. But he’s a guy who’s tormented the O’s for some time.

The key moment in the game was in the last of the sixth. By way of a double-steal and a walk, Tampa quickly loaded the bases and threatened to break the tie. Not only that, but had they cleared the bases, it would have potentially busted the game wide open. This against reliever Mike Baumann.

The beleaguered Baumann proceeded to strike out the next three hitters, getting the Orioles out of the inning unscathed. Many people will harp on the fact that Baumann loaded the bases to begin with. However I’ve said before than the nature of the position (pitcher) is that they’re going to get into trouble at some point. That’s just how it ends up going.

The good ones will pitch their way OUT of that trouble. And that‘a what we saw out of Mike Baumann in that moment. He zero’d in and delivered the least likely scenario, that being not yielding a run.

And that seemed to spark Oriole bats. At the least the bars of the Oriole reserves in the later innings, that is. Nonar Mazara put the Orioles back in the lead in the top of the seventh with an RBI-single. One inning later they would pad that lead with a run-scoring single by Lewin Diaz, and an RBI-groundout by Cesar Prieto. The Birds would close Tampa down in the ninth, notching themselves a win at Tropicana Field.

The O’s return to Sarasota tomorrow to take on Philadelphia at Ed Smith Stadium. Cole Irving gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Philadelphia’s Michael Plassmeyer. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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