Baltimore Orioles: Joey Ortiz a big participant in debut

The Baltimore Orioles began their second series in the last three against Detroit last night with Kyle Gibson on the mound. This time in Detroit. Gibson struggled a bit in the first inning, but stabilized. His issue was a high pitch count, which shortened his outing. Gibson’s line: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 3 K.

Gibson loaded the bases in the last of the second, and Schoop grounded into a double-play, giving Detroit a 1-0 lead. But Gibson showed the grit of a veteran there, surrendering one run in a bases loaded nobody out situation. Hasse’s two-RBI single an inning later would extend Detroit’s lead to 3-0.

The O’s called up Joey Ortiz from Norfolk before the game, and he was in the lineup last night – making his major league debut and playing second base. And Ortiz seemed to immediately embrace the vibe that this team has, that which says they’re comfortable having to play the role of comeback kids. With two runners in scoring position in the fifth, Ortiz’s first major league hit came on a two-RBI single which cut the Detroit lead to 3-2.

But Detroit would extend their lead an inning later when Maton would walk with the bases loaded. But no worries – come the seventh, Ortiz came to bat again for the O’s. He would get the Orioles to within one again at 4-3 with a sac fly-RBI. That’s three RBI in his big league debut, and Ortiz joined Don Baylor in Orioles’ history as having done that. Select company for sure.

But the O’s were only beginning to fight. This was previously a listless game, but the O’s livened it up in the later innings. Cedric Mullins smacked an RBI-triple later in that seventh inning which tied the game up at four. Mullins would later cross the plate on Adley Rutschman’s sac fly-RBI, and suddenly the Birds led, 5-4.

But the big blow was yet to come. Anthony Santander would smack a two-run homer before the end of the seventh inning, and the Orioles cruised to a 7-4 victory. And let me tell you, baseball fans, it was a SHOT. From the moment he hit it, there was no doubt it was destined for the seats.

The Orioles are very comfortable playing from behind. Maybe almost too comfortable! But they’ve turned it into an art form, and they find ways to win. It’s early in the season. But these are good signs that bode well for the rest of the season.

The series continues this evening from Comerica Park. Grayson Rodriguez gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Eduardo Rodriguez. Game time is set for just after 6:30 PM.

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