Baltimore Orioles: Ryan Mountcastle breaks out as Birds continue rolling

Tyler Wells produced a mixed bag of results for the Baltimore Orioles last night. He spotted Kansas City a 3-0 lead. But he quickly stabilized and was able to stick around long enough to qualify for the win. Wells’ line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 4 K.

Wells gave up a solo homer to Witt and a two/run homer to Melendez in the last of the first inning. But as I said, he seemed to buckle down enough to right himself. And a few innings later, Oriole bats began their assault on Kansas City pitching.

The best news of the night from the Orioles’ standpoint is that Ryan Mountcastle broke out. He had been having a rough go of things, not being able to catch a break. Whether it was an outfielder making a great play or something else – he had been making great contact, just not getting on base.

But that ended last night. Mountcastle’s two-run homer in the fourth brought the Birds to within 3-2. James McCann tied the game later in the inning with an RBI-single, and the O’s took a 5-3 lead before the end of the fourth on Cedric Mullins’ two-RBI single.

That’s a five-run fourth inning. And thus far in 2023 we’ve seen the Orioles score runs in bunches like this. If you have a lead on them, it’s flat out not safe. Be forewarned.

One benefit from putting five runs up in an inning is that the lineup turns over quickly. Mountcastle came up again in the fifth, and provided the same result: a two-run homer. Adley Rutschman would add a mere RBI-double in the sixth, and he would later score on an RBI-double by nine other than Ryan Mountcastle. Yes, THAT Ryan Mountcastle! He had a whale of a ballgame!

Jorge Mateo would ground into a force out that yielded a run before the inning ended. It was also a play that the Orioles had to challenge so as to get the run. Mateo was found to be safe at first base, and the run counted. Kansas City would narrow the lead to 10-7 on the sixth and seventh, and appeared poised to continue their assault on the Birds’ lead. However while the Oriole bullpen had bent, it didn’t break. Ramon Urias would add an RBI-single in the eighth, and the O’s took game one in Kansas City, 11-7.

The series continues this evening at Kauffman Stadium. Kyle Gibson gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Zach Greinke. Game time is set for just after 7:30 PM.

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