With Kyle Bradish on the IL, the Baltimore Orioles once again turned to Austin Voss to spearhead a bullpen game last night. Manager Brandon Hyde only needed a few innings out of Voss, as was the case last weekend against Tampa. And Voss delivered; Voss’ line: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K.
Voss in essence has acted as a “long opener” in his two starts this past week. And he’s been effective in doing it. I’m not a fan of “bullpen games,” but to his credit Hyde’s making it work.
The O’s led almost the entire way in this game. Cedric Mullins scored on a wild pitch in the first inning, giving the Birds a 1-0 lead. Ritchie Martin’s RBI-single in the second extended that lead to 2-0. However Chicago would cut that lead in half in the bottom of the inning on Burger’s RBI-double. But that would be the highlight of the game from the ChiSox’s perspective.
With Adley Rutschman at the plate in the fourth, a balk was called on Chicago starter Kopech. This allowed Jorge Mateo to score from third, giving the O’s a 3-0 lead. That hall was controversial, as the Chicago dugout was unclear as to what Kopech did. Having said that, most balks are controversial. The O’s would tack on an insurance run in the eighth on Austin Hays’ RBI-double, going home with a 4-1 victory on the South Side of Chicago.
We did have the benches clear in this game. Kopech hit Jorge Mateo in the top of the second inning. Mateo took exception to it, and the benches cleared when he started shouting at Kopech. Both benches were warned.
At first glance I didn’t think it was intentional. Mateo is fast as heck; why would you hit someone who can steal a base very easily? (In fact, Mateo would steal second and be driven in by Rutschman.) However while we can’t be in a position to judge intent, let’s just say that it did look suspect.
That seemed to ruffle Chicago more than it did the Orioles. Mateo was able to steal second and score, and Kopech balked in a run later in the game. In the Birds’ minds it appeared to be over right away, and Brandon Hyde said as much after the game:
He gets hit in the back after squaring to bunt and didn’t like it. I don’t know the exchange, honestly. I need to look at the replay, what Jorgie did. But it’s one of those competitive things that happens and we moved on pretty quickly. I thought it was over at that point. We’re trying to win the game and they are, too. It’s one of those things that happen and you move on.Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports
Chicago’s had a couple of other dust-ups already this year. Yet it was the Orioles who moved on. This while the Chi Sox flailed in the wind a bit. Let’s leave it at the fact that they didn’t do themselves any favors.
The series continues this afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field. Spencer Watkins gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Chicago’s Lance Lynn. Game time is set for just after 2 PM.