The Baltimore Orioles entered this four-game set vs. the New York Yankees having lost their last 18 against the Evil Empire. Looking to turn things around, the Orioles also had a chance to be somewhat of a playoff spoiler for the Yankees. With the Rays comfortably ahead in the AL East, taking two, maybe three games out of this series could very well drop the Yanks down to the seventh or eighth seed.
Alex Cobb was originally the starter set for game one of Friday’s doubleheader but was scratched earlier in the day and placed in the IL for unknown reasons. Thomas Eshelman was recalled and got the last minute start.
It was a though day for Eshelman. He lasted only 2.1 innings, where he walked three batters and allowed two earned runs and four runs total. He pitched like someone who had just got called up from the Alternate Site mere hours before first pitch.
Cedric Mullins started this game off quick, slashing a line drive into the right field seats to take a 1-0 lead.
Now in the third inning with the O’s down 4-1, Branden Kline came on in relief and started a 5.2 inning stretch of scoreless baseball for the Orioles bullpen.
With the bullpen holding the Yankees to four runs, the Birds came back to tie the game with a two-run shot from Rio Ruiz and a solo shot from Renato Núñez.
In the ninth inning, which due to the seven inning doubleheader rule was actually extra innings, the Yankees were able to snag a 6-5 victory to extend their win streak over the Orioles to 19 games.
Game two of this doublerheader featured Jorge López on the mound for the Birds opposite of Deivi Garcia for the Yankees.
López tossed a solid outing, going five full innings and allowing just three runs to a dangerous offense.
On his two week anniversary of being called up for the first time, Ryan Mountcastle made himself heard, blasting a monster shot to the left field seats for a 2-0 lead.
Heading into the fifth, which is more or less the seventh in a regular length game, the Orioles trailed 3-2. A big inning would occur, as RBI by Mountcastle, Rio Ruiz, and Pat Valaika gave the orioles a commanding 6-3 lead.
César Valdez would record the two inning save for the Orioles, sealing the Birds’ first victory against the Yankees since March 31, 2019.
The third game of this series was an amazing pitchers duel for six innings, until the Orioles beat up on Gerrit Cole. For the Orioles, Keegan Akin kept up with the richest pitcher in baseball throughout the whole game.
In only his second major league start and third appearance, the left-handed Akin pitched beyond any expectation he had going into this game.
Akin lasted 5.1 innings, which is an inning longer than his last start. It was a very good outing for Akin, as he was very effective with all of his pitches, striking out eight batters and allowing zero runs. The only downfall for Akin were his four walks, most of which came when he was passed 70 pitches.
The Orioles offense was being stifled by fantastic pitching themselves, going hitless until the fourth inning when José Iglesias hit his 13th double off Gerrit Cole.
DJ Stewart came up to lead off the sixth inning and surprised everybody. He launched a home run off Cole for his first hit of the season in 17 at-bats. This gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead.
This would be the start of a rally for the Orioles, as they mustered up a couple hits and a walk to load the bases. Ryan Mountcastle then hit a line drive off a 98 mph fastball at the top of the zone to center, scoring two.
The Orioles then took advantage of a throwing error to score two more off a Rio Ruiz double. The O’s took a 5-0 lead and knocked the reining AL Cy Young runner up out of the game.
In the seventh the Orioles were looking for an insurance run. After batting around in the sixth, Stewart again led off and AGAIN homered, hitting this one 404 feet out onto Eutaw Street! Stewart’s second home run of the game and the season put the Birds up 6-0.
The Orioles would hold off the Yankees in the ninth, sealing their second straight victory, this time by a score of 6-1.
It was a fantastic morning, as for all Oriole fans, because we woke up to the news that #10 prospect RHP Dean Kremer was called up and would get the start in game four!
A very long awaited appearance, Kremer was a part of the blockbuster deal that sent Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers in July of 2018. After scorching the minor leagues, Kremer showed he was ready, while getting in work at the Alternate Site this season.
In an absolute gem of a major league debut, Kremer only gave up one hit and one run in six innings of work! The run came on a fielder’s choice following two walks. Kremer also struck out seven batters and had great control of his pitches. Welcome to the big leagues, Dean!
After starting his seasons 0-for-17, DJ Stewart has put the Orioles on his back, as he hit his third home run in two games with a two-run blast to the flag court in right field. This early home run gave the O’s a 2-0 lead in the first.
In the sixth inning, the Orioles offense got after another Yankees starting pitcher, loading the bases on Masahiro Tanaka before he was pulled. Luis Cessa then walked in a run, followed by an RBI single from Andrew Velazquez to give the O’s a 4-1 lead.
A late sac fly by Ryan Mountcastle and great work from the bullpen cemented a 5-1 victory to take this series. Dean Kremer earned his first major league win in his first start.
The Birds travel to New York to start a road trip against the Mets for two games, followed by four more against the Yankees. Currently, the Orioles sit two games behind the Yankees for the last Wild Card spot, so anything can happen!
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