Baltimore Orioles: Birds can’t get over the hump

Tyler Wells made his first start of the season for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon in the series finale against New York. This of course after pitching five innings in spot relief this past week in Texas. However the Orioles couldn’t get the same results out of Wells today, although he didn’t look awful. Wells’ line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 6 K.

And here’s the thing; keep in mind that last week in Texas, Wells came into the game in the second inning due to an injury to Kyle Bradish. And he kept Texas off-kilter for his entire outing. Texas prepared for Bradish that day, and it was an abrupt surprise that the Birds needed someone in as extended relief as they used Wells that night.

In this case, Wells was always the listed starter leading up to this game. So his presence was no surprise to New York. We see this in the NFL a lot also. If the starting quarterback gets injured, the backup comes in and wins the game – leaving people flabbergasted. But that can throw off the gameplan of the opponent in the short term as well.

Stanton got New York on the board early with an RBI-single in the first inning. New York continued to threaten, however Wells induced a ground ball double-play to end the inning. He limited the damage, which was good to see.

However New York kept the pressure on. Judge’s solo homer in the third extended the lead. Two innings later Cordero smacked a two-run homer to right, digging the O’s in a 4-0 hole. But the Orioles tried to chip away also. Anthony Santander’s two-RBI double in the last of the sixth got them on the board and cut the lead in half at 4-2.

However New York also added an insurance run in the eighth, by way of Judge again. His solo home run upped New York’s lead to 5-2. And that was a big moment, because Adley Rutschman’s solo shot in the last of the eighth cut it to 5-3. However the New York bullpen closed things out, and the Birds fell on this Easter Sunday, 5-3.

It’s easy to look at Tyler Wells and others and mention that Oriole pitchers surrendered five runs today. However New York’s starter Nestor Cortes shut Oriole bats down for the most part. Cortes of course is a former Oriole who was acquired in the Rule 5 draft, however had to be returned to New York. And he’s made the most of his opportunity. The New York lineup also featured Franchy Cordero, who made an impact on the Birds all weekend. Cordero of course had a great spring – with the O’s. He was cut after camp, and caught on in pinstripes.

The Oakland A’s come into Oriole Park at Camden Yards tomorrow evening for the first of a four-game set. Kyle Gibson gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s JP Sears. Game time is set for just after 6:30 PM.

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