Baltimore Orioles narrowly avoid no-no

Tyler Wells got the start tonight for the Baltimore Orioles, and got knocked around. But the entire Orioles team in effect got knocked around. They ran into a buzz saw that was Detroit this evening at Camden Yards. Wells’ line: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 3 K.

Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a run-scoring single by Cabrera. That lead would hold until the fourth when Wells would walk in a run, uncork a wild pitch to net a second, and then give up an RBI-single and an RBI-double. When the smoke cleared the Birds trailed 6-0 after four.

But it got worse for the O’s. Green’s two-RBI single in the sixth would extend the lead to 8-0. Detroit would tag on a run in the seventh, and two more in the ninth. And sent the O’s home with a 9-0 loss.

The story of the game however was Detroit starter, Tyler Alexander. He pitched seven innings, and gave up two hits. The O’s were being no-hit until the seventh inning.

Luckily however, they managed to get a hit. Actually, two. However it’s just a matter of pride to say you at least got a hit, or didn’t get no-no’d. It doesn’t help the O’s in terms of winning the game, or in the post-season chase.

The series continues tomorrow night at Camden Yards. Austin Voth gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Joey Wentz. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles fall in the Gunnar Henderson show

Kyle Bradish got the start and took the loss for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon at Rogers Centre. However Gunnar Henderson proved once again (and for the second straight game) that he’s going to be one of the guys to lead this team moving onward. Bradish’s line: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, (3 earned), 1 BB, 3 K.

The O’s surrendered a run in the first on a sac fly-RBI. Springer added a two-RBI single in the second, and the O’s trailed 3-0. However the O’s tried to make a game of it. They put two runners on in the third, and Gunnar Henderson’s two-RBI double cut the lead to 3-2.

But the O’s found the game out of reach in the fifth. Tapia’s bases-clearing double gave them a 6-2 lead. Two of those runs were unearned due to an error, but obviously they all counted.

Terrin Vavra would add an RBI-single in the eighth, but the O’s fell, 6-3. Gunnar Henderson was the runner who scored there late. Since coming up, he’s put the rest of the league on notice that he’s going to be a force for years to come. Even though Toronto’s taken the first two games of this series, they’ve certainly gotten the message that Henderson’s the future of Orioles’ baseball.

The series concludes tomorrow afternoon at Rogers Centre. Dean Kremer gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Alek Manoah. Game time is set for just after 1:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Gunnar Henderson homers late in Birds’ loss

Jordan Lyles got the start for the Baltimore Orioles last night in Toronto. Almost predictably, Lyles and the Birds struggled against a Toronto offense that’s all but hellbent on making the Orioles’ lives miserable. Lyles’ line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 5 K.

Toronto used last night as a “bullpen game,” which is always risky. But the fact is that it worked. The O’s didn’t get a hit until the fourth inning.

The O’s fell behind early on a solo homer by Chapman in the second. However once they got that aforementioned first hit, they had the lead for awhile. Adley Rutschman smacked a solo homer in the fourth, giving the O’s a 2-1 lead.

But that only lasted for an inning. Springer’s three-run homer in the fifth put Toronto ahead, 4-2. Chapman would haunt the Birds again in the sixth with a two-run shot, and suddenly the O’s trailed 6-2.

The sad thing about that go-ahead three-run homer by Springer was that Jordan Lyles was a strike away from getting out of the inning. That’s almost been a theme this year, with opposing hitters doing massive damage with two outs, or on two-strike counts. Brandon Hyde on the Springer homer:

“I think he just hung a curveball there 3-2. But you know that made it a 4-2 game there in the fifth inning and we just didn’t score enough runs. We have to be able to outscore these guys. They have a great offense and Chapman took us deep twice. We just didn’t score many runs tonight.”

Quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports

However the O’s also pulled a stunt like that. It was garbage time, but down to their final strike of the game, Gunnar Henderson smacked a solo homer in the ninth. That’s a very good sign for the future, needless to say.

The series continues this afternoon at Rogers Centre. Kyle Bradish gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Jose Berrios. Game time is set for just after 3 PM. K

Baltimore Orioles: Gunnar Henderson spearheads four-run seventh in DC sweep

Tyler Wells got the start this evening for the Baltimore Orioles this evening in the series finale against Washington at Nationals Park. Wells was once again in a pitch count, similar to his last outing against Boston; as we know, he just came off the IL last week. He threw 50 pitches total, 33 for strikes. Wells’ line: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

The O’s had a golden opportunity in the second inning to do some damage, but they came away with only one run. They had the bases loaded with nobody out. However Ryan McKenna grounded into a force out at home plate for the first out. Gunnar Henderson would plate a run with an RBI-groundout, but that’s all the Birds could muster. I’ve said many times that the one benefit for the team in the field with the bases loaded is that you have a force at every base. And Washington took full advantage.

Wells gave up two solo homers, one to Adams in the third, and one to Voit in the fourth. This before leaving the game due to the aforementioned pitch count. It appeared however that he might be on the hook for the loss. Then the seventh inning happened.

With Washington’s starter Corbin (who pitched an outstanding game) out in the top of the seventh, the Birds put the first two runners on base, still trailing 2-1. However Gunnar Henderson sent a tight grounder down the left field line and into the corner. It was a given that the O’s were going to take the lead given the placement of the ball. Both runners on base scored…

…however Washington’s left fielder (Hernandez) misplayed the ball. That allowed Henderson to round third and cruise into home plate. The play was ruled a two-RBI triple and an E7. However it was the same effect as an inside-the-park home run, and the Orioles led 4-2.

Jorge Mateo came up next, and smacked a no-doubter out of the park and deep into the Federal evening sky. Gunnar Henderson would add an RBI-double in the eighth. And the Birds took this game 6-2, swept the series in DC, and won the season series with Washington.

While the O’s did squander an opportunity early with the bases loaded, they made up for it late. And as well all know, they do their best work in the later innings. Tonight was no exception. They did what they had to do, and in the process netted themselves a big win in terms of the playoff picture.

Baltimore Orioles: Seven games from .500 in DC

The Baltimore Orioles opened a short two-game set against Washington this evening at Nationals Park. Technically two road games, but still certainly within the Birds’ home region. And that was reflected in the stands, with several LET’S GO O’s chants breaking out. Dean Kremer got the start for the Birds this evening in DC. Kremer’s line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K.

The O’s gave Kremer the lead before he even took the field. Gunnar Henderson’s RBI-single got the O’s on the board with a 1-0 lead. However Washington tied the score in the bottom half of the inning with Garcia’s RBI-double. A soft blooper that fell in fair territory in left field.

Two innings later Washington took a 3-1 lead in the third. Voit’s RBI-single put them one ahead, and Garcia grounded into a force out which yielded a run. And the O’s trailed – but for only a brief moment.

Cedric Mullins came up with runners on in the fourth, and grounded into a double-play. This forced in a run, cutting the Washington lead to 3-2. However that tally didn’t last long either. Ryan Mountcastle smacked a solo homer in the fifth, tying the score at three. Austin Hays added an RBI-double, giving the Orioles a 4-3 lead.

Following Kremer’s departure the bullpen shut Washington down. And as we all know, that’s been a huge part of the reason this season has unfolded the way it has. Good starting pitching, timely hitting, and a strong bullpen to shut things down late.

This win put the Orioles at 74-67 on the year. Seven more wins and they’ll be at 81, which of course guarantees them a non-losing season. The postseason race is what it is. Whatever happens, is going to happen. But few would have predicted the O’s to win 81 plus games. Brandon Hyde has a rightful claim to be the Manager of the Year.

The series concludes tomorrow night at Nationals Park. Tyler Wells gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Washington’s Patrick Corbin. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Gunnar Henderson puts Birds back on track

Last night we saw rookie Gunnar Henderson step up in the clutch for the Baltimore Orioles. He’s only the most recent new face to make an impact in a big moment, which also includes Austin Voth, last night’s starter. Voth’s line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K.

It’s obvious that Brandon Hyde’s managing the games differently than he has to this point. Voth was removed after only four innings. Granted, Hyde would do that earlier in the season, and at times I was critical of it. But the situation in which the Orioles find themselves now, posturing for a playoff spot, is vastly different. You have to manage games differently, and that means matching up earlier in big games if need be.

Voth gave up a two-run homer to Bogaerts in the third inning. Other than that, Oriole pitching was strong, the bullpen was strong, and they mowed down Boston hitters as the game wore on.

The Birds loaded the bases on the sixth, as Boston starter Bello started to wear down. After they brought in reliever Kaleb Ort, Cedric Mullins scored from third in a passed ball. That cut the Boston lead in half at 2-1.

Gunnar Henderson strode to the plate later in the inning with the bases once again loaded. And the rookie came through in the clutch when the team needed him most. His two-RBI double gave the O’s the lead at 3-2. Which due to the strength of the Oriole bullpen, turned into a 3-2 win.

And a big win at that. Seattle fell to Atlanta last night, and the Orioles is stand four games out of the final wild card spot. And they placed Boston at 10.5 games out. For those who thought that the season was over after the Toronto series, remember that they say if you’re within five games at Labor Day, you have a fighting chance.

The series continues late this evening at Camden Yards. Jordan Lyles gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Michael Wacha. Game time is set for just after 5 PM.

Baltimore Orioles fall in series finale

The Baltimore Orioles called Tyler Wells up from the IL last night, and are expecting him to be in the starting rotation for the rest of the season. He wasn’t in the game for long against Toronto last night, but he did start. Wells’ line: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K.

Wells was obviously on a pitch count, as he was told late Tuesday night that he was coming back up off the IL:

Obviously, very excited to kind of come back and be a part of it and try to help the push. It is going to be a tough month. Obviously, we face these guys quite a bit. I believe that we have quite a few more in-division games as well, so it’s going to be a competitive month, but I think at the same time, too, it’s also going to be worth it in the end. I’m hoping that we continue to push and we continue to battle, and if we continue to play the way we’ve been playing as of late, hopefully we can push and surprise a lot of people.

Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

Ryan Mountcastle smacked an RBI-double in the last of the first to give the O’s a 1-0 lead. He scored Anthony Santander, who went from first to home on the play. The Orioles have been getting great base running the past couple of months, which I suspect is a huge part of their success.

Unfortunately however, that was the only time an Oriole would cross the plate. Dean Kremer followed Wells to the mound, and was the victim of some bad luck in the fifth inning. Toronto had tied the score in the second on a fielder’s choice. They did it again in the fifth, taking a 2-1 lead.

Kirk added an RBI-single later in the inning. Again, there’s some luck involved in this. It was an infield single to Rougned Odor. However the angle wasn’t such that Mateo had enough time to turn a double-play and end the inning. So instead, it pushed a run across.

Further compounding Kremer’s and the Orioles’ misfortune was that Adley Rutschman tried to throw behind a runner at first later in the inning. But it was an errant throw, allowing another run to score. And the Birds ended up falling, 4-1. They dropped three-of-four to Toronto, and sit 4.5 games out of a playoff spot.

Baltimore Orioles: Bruce Zimmermann takes one for the team in Birds’ loss

Jordan Lyles was supposed to start game two of today’s doubleheader against Toronto for the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. However he woke up “under the weather” this morning, and Brandon Hyde moved him back to starting the night cap. However he was unable to go even for the second game, and reliever Keegan Akin was told he’d be starting about ten minutes before first pitch. Akin’s line: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

Given the timeframe of when he found out he was starting, Akin was really good. He had the lead early when Roughned Odor smacked a solo homer in the last of the second. However Bichette smacked a three-run homer in the third, giving Toronto a 3-1 lead. Two of those runs were charged to Akin, putting him in line for the loss.

However the biggest takeaway from this game was Bruce Zimmermann, who was activated between games. He came in to pitch the fourth, and despite giving up five runs, pitched the duration of the game. He lobbied to come back out and pitch the ninth, as he knew he’d be doing the team a favor by saving a reliever. Despite dropping this doubleheader, there are still two games to play in this series (tomorrow and Wednesday). And basically a whole month’s worth of games to play, which will decide this Orioles’ team’s fate for 2022. Zimmermann’s effort means a lot. And it shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Toronto got solo home runs in the sixth by Bichette and Biggio. They also got a two-RBI double by Bradley (JR), extending their lead to 7-1. The O’s would attempt a small rally, although it’s tough to come from six down in just a few innings. They loaded the bases in the seventh, and Roughned Odor was awarded home plate on catcher’s interference. Adley Rutschman grounded into a fielder’s choice-RBI later in the inning as well.

Prior to that however, Toronto’s Bichette smacked his third solo homer of the ballgame, and the O’s finished the seventh inning down 8-3. Bichette would finally record an out in the ninth, leaving him at 3-for-4 on day, with three homers.

Rutschman would add a solo home run in the last of the ninth, but the O’s fell 8-3. They’re now 4.5 games back of Toronto for a wild card spot. You hate to get swept in a doubleheader, especially at this stage of the season, and in the position in which the O’s find themselves. And at home on top of that. But there’s still a lot of baseball left to play. And a lot of baseball against Toronto at that.

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

Baltimore Orioles: Anthony Santander homers twice but Birds come up flat

The Baltimore Orioles looked to knock Toronto down a leg this afternoon in the first of two games today at Camden Yards. They called Mike Baumann up from triple-A to make the start. He was also the 29th man on the roster, as permitted under the rules governing doubleheaders. Baumann’s line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

Baumann made his first big league start today, although he did spend some time technically in the big leagues earlier this year on the Birds’ taxi squad. He didn’t look “crisp but certainly not awful. He made some good pitches, and he has a few things upon which to build.

Anthony Santander gave the O’s the lead in the last of the first at 1-0. Toronto would tie it up in the second on an RBI-single by Biggio. And the game would be tied until the third when Kirk would ground into a fielder’s choice, scoring a run. Bichette would come up in the fifth, and ground into a fielder’s choice of his own, giving Toronto a 3-1 lead.

On both of the aforementioned fielder’s choice’s, Gunnar Henderson flubbed balls – leading to a run being scored. You can excuse that, given the fact that he’s fresh up last week from the minors for the first time. Also given how hot he’s started. However those are mistakes that can and will cost you games, even given the fact that Henderson’s a rookie. Incidentally neither play was scored an error, as you can’t assume a double-play; and the O’s did record outs on the plays.

The Birds did attempt to rally a couple of times, however. Ryan Mountcastle smacked an RBI-double in the sixth. However come the eighth Hernandez smacked a two-run home run, giving Toronto some insurance. And the O’s rallied AGAIN, with Anthony Santander smacking a solo homer in the last of the eighth. However Toronto put three across in the ninth, giving them a 7-3 lead in the first of a twin bill.

The Orioles’ dugout and manager Brandon Hyde were livid for most of the game (along with the crowd). Home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez’s strike zone seemed inconsistent – at best. Numerous Oriole hitters were rung up on pitches that didn’t appear close to the zone. Yet when the O’s were in the field those same pitches were called balls. That certainly didn’t help matters.

The Orioles also surrendered hits late in the game on two-strike counts. Again, those types of things can’t happen – especially in a playoff push. When you get to two strikes, you need to put the hitter away. But the good news is that they’ll have another chance to do that, today!

The series (and the doubleheader) continues later this afternoon at Camden Yards. Jordan Lyles gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Jose Berrios. Game time is set for approximately 5:05 PM this afternoon.

Baltimore Orioles: Ryan Mountcastle breaks out in another Oriole win

Austin Voth took to the mound for the Baltimore Orioles against Oakland last night, as they looked to win their fifth consecutive series. He had a bit of a rough go in the first inning, but only gave up one run. He didn’t stick around long enough to qualify for the win, however. Voth’s line: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

Oakland loaded the bases in the first inning, and they took a 1-0 lead on a sac fly-RBI by Murphy. But that lead was short-lived. When you’re a team out of contention (and Oakland was eliminated from playoff contention about a week ago) and you’re playing a team IN contention. That’s how it can sometimes go. Nobody knows and understands that better than the O’s.

Ryan Mountcastle smacked a two-run homer in the last of the first, giving the Orioles the lead at 2-1. Mountcastle had been in a slump for the past few weeks, but in the past few games his bat had showed signs of coming to life. And it couldn’t come at a better moment in the season.

Just to show he wasn’t kissing Mountcastle did the same thing in his next at-bat. He came up again in the third with one man on, and smacked another two-run homer. One inning later in the fourth, it was Cedric Mullins’ and Anthony Santander’s turns respectively. Their solo home runs broke the game wide open at 6-1.

Adley Rutschman would add an RBI-single in that fourth inning as well. However the competitive part of the game was over. Oakland was spotted an early one-run lead, but quickly stepped aside. Rutschman would add a solo homer of his own in the eighth, and the Birds took this one, 8-1.

As I said, Mountcastle appearing to put his slump to bed is a great sign. And it couldn’t happen at a better time, as this is shaping up to be the biggest month of consequence for the Birds in years. They need all of their weapons to overcome the teams in front of them and get to the Promise Land.

The series with Oakland concludes this afternoon at Camden Yards. Spencer Watkins gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Adrian Martinez. Game time is set for just after 1:30 PM.