Baltimore Orioles: Ryan Mountcastle’s clutch homer helps lift the Birds

Dean Kremer turned in one of those in between starts for the Baltimore Orioles this evening against Anaheim at Camden Yards. Most starting pitchers will have ten great starts, ten poor, and ten that are in between. And therein lies the success or failure of your season. Kremer’s line: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

In short, Kremer wasn’t stellar. But he was far from awful either. If more guys’ in between starts were like this, their teams would be in the World Series annually. You can also refer to it as gutting one out. Either way, he pitched well enough to win.

Kremer gave up a solo homer to Moniak in the first, but the O’s almost immediately took care of that. Ryan O’Hearn, who got the start as the designated hitter, shot a solo homer of his own out of Camden Yards in the second, tying the game. For the record, O’Hearn DH’d while Anthony Santander played first base and Ryan Mountcastle sat. Keep that in mind.

The Birds took the lead in the last of the fourth when Terrin Vavra and Jorge Mateo smacked RBI-singles. Cedric Mullins would also ground out with a rubber on third, and the O’s led, 4-1.

But Los Angeles fought back. They put two runs across in the fifth, both on RBI-singles. And suddenly we were in a one-run game. But not for long.

Jorge Mateo’s sac fly-RBI in the last of the sixth gave the Birds some breathing room at 5-3. Following that, Brandon Hyde sent the previously resting Ryan Mountcastle up as a pinch hitter (with a runner on base) for Ryan O’Hearn. Keep in mind, one could argue that O’Hearn was taking Mountcastle’s spot in the order (in a roundabout manner). So perhaps his appearance in the game at that moment was ironic in and of itself…

…definitely afterwards, however. Because Mountcastle came through in the clutch, smacking a two-run homer. This extended the Orioles’ lead to 7-3, and the bullpen closed Los Angeles out the rest of the way.

Whatever Brandon Hyde’s methodology was for resting Mountcastle and later bringing him in when he did, it worked. Those are intangible things and moments in games that you can’t predict. You just have to feel them as they come. However he arrived at the decision(s), Hyde was right.

The series continues tomorrow night at Camden Yards. Kyle Bradish gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Los Angeles’ Griffin Canning. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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