Baltimore Orioles: Grayson Rodriguez wins first game in the majors as Birds hold on

Grayson Rodriguez recorded his first major league win in the night cap of the Baltimore Orioles’ doubleheader in Detroit today. He only pitched five innings, but in those five innings he was very effective. He set the Birds up nicely for a win, and stayed around just long enough to get credited with it. Rodriguez’s line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K.

The nine strikeouts really stands out in that stat line. Especially over just five innings. That’s a huge number of K’s, and it’s very meaningful when you have a starter who can mow hitters down like that from the beginning.

The Birds took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI-single by Ryan McKenna. Later in the inning Joey Ortiz and Austin Hays would follow suit with RBI-singles of their own, giving the O’s a 3-0 lead. Ortiz would later score on a wild pitch, extending the lead to 4-0.

I’ve said this a couple of times already this year, and it’s part of a larger narrative that I’ve said for many years. You have to get guys on base. It’s common sense in this sport, but it seems that’s often forgotten in a sense. You just never know what can happen in a game. A wild pitch with nobody on base isn’t even recorded as a wild pitch. But a wild pitch with a guy on third base results in a run – without even putting the ball in play. And we saw it this evening.

Ryan McKenna would smack his first homer of the season in the sixth, this of the two-run variety. This gave the O’s a 6-0 lead. And they appeared to be cruising.

However Detroit made things interesting after Rodriguez was long gone. They got a run across in the last of the sixth when Jorge Mateo committed a fielding error. Again, the same thing applies; someone on base can at times score – on a fluke play. So defensively you want to limit base runners, because it helps limit runs scored against you.

However Detroit put more guys on base. And later in the inning Nevin’s three-run homer made things uncomfortable for the Orioles’ pen. But end of the day Feliz Bautista closed out the game and the bullpen held strong, driving the Birds to a 6-4 win.

The series concludes tomorrow at Comerica Park. Kyle Bradish gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Spencer Turnbull. Game time is set for just after 1:30 PM.

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