Baltimore Orioles: All’s well that ends well

Grayson Rodriguez got the start for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon in the series finale against Detroit. And while he only pitched five innings, he was masterful. Rodriguez’s line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K.

The issue of course was that Detroit’s starter (former Oriole farm hand, Eduardo Rodriguez), was more masterful. The Birds didn’t get a runner on base until Ryan Mountcastle’s single in the last of the seventh. Needless to say, it wasn’t a day for hitters on either side.

Detroit got on the board first with a sac fly-RBI by Torkelson in the eighth. However Jorge Mateo got on base on the bottom of the inning, and Brandon Hyde sent Anthony Santander up as a pinch hitter. And Santander sent a grounder about a tightly past third base as one can…

…my assumption was that Mateo would reach third base and stop. Admittedly, I wouldn’t have sent him – despite his speed. I’m kind of a play-it-safe kind of guy. But the Orioles sent Mateo. And in a dramatic play at the plate, he was safe. And the fane was tied.

You have to give them credit for being willing to send him. And obviously it paid off. It’s also fair to say that in a game that close and one in which you had just avoided a perfect game, sometimes you have to pull out a few stops.

The game went to extra innings, and manager Brandon Hyde again rolled the dice. He intentionally loaded the bases, setting up a better matchup. And reliever Keegan Akin got out of the inning. Again, in a close game sometimes you have to pull out all the stops.

The Orioles moved ghost runner Adam Frazier over to third in the last of the tenth on a sac bunt. Detroit’s reliever Englert would later uncork a wild pitch, scoring Frazier from third. And the Birds walked off winners, 2-1. And swept the series against Detroit.

I wouldn’t have wasted an out moving the runner over. Sure it allows you more ways to score, such as a wild pitch. But if you focus on just getting a base hit, it’s beside the point. But ultimately the Orioles rolling the dice got the job done.

The O’s open a series against Boston tomorrow at Camden Yards. Dean Kremer gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Chris Sale. Game time is set for just after 6:30 PM.

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