NY state of mind, huh? The red hot Baltimore Orioles rode into Citi Field on Tuesday to begin a two game series against the Mets, which is part of an 11 game stretch against New York teams. The Birds got on the subway to Queens scorching hot having won their last 3 over the Yankees, and 5 of their last seven between the Mets and Yankees.
Game one of this interleague series would be no different for the Orioles, as the pitching was superb, and the offense is showing it can survive without Anthony Santander. John Means entered this game winless, and finally pitched like we all expected him to.
Through five innings, John Means was dealing. Means threw 97 pitches, 64 of which were for strikes. Anytime a pitcher can throw quality strikes 65% of the time, you will have a chance to win. The only run scored on John Means was a solo shot in the second, admittedly his one mistake of the game when he left a fastball chest high over the middle of the plate.
Don’t talk bad about DJ Stewart. Actually, keep it up, it’s working! In the second inning DJ Stewart sent a line drive into the upper bleacher seats in right field, just as MASN commentator Ben McDonald was speaking on the loss of Anthony Santander and having to play Dj Stewart instead. The Birds went up 2-0.
DJ Stewart has now homered 4 times in 3 games, netting multi RBIs in three straight games, and has surpassed an OPS of 1.000.
The Orioles offense were simply bullies in this game, with six orioles hitters having two or more hits. Also, while 4 for 11 with runners in scoring position isn’t fantastic, 7 of the Orioles 11 runs came with 2 outs which included two of the four home runs in the game.
The Orioles scored every inning from the second through the fifth, leading after five with a score of 9-1. Ryan Mountcastle blasted his fourth homerun, as well as Rio Ruiz supplying am Earl Weaver to score 3 run. Pat Valaika joined Stewart, Ruiz, and Mountcastle in the home run train, sending his sixth of the year into the New York night in the 8th.
With a 11-2 win by John Means and the Orioles (20-21), the Yankees (21-20) now sit only a half game ahead of the O’s for the second wildcard spot.
Picking up right where they left off a night before were the Orioles in game two. The O’s offense gave Jorge Lopez immediate run support in the first inning, following a pair of RBI singles by Cedric Mullins and Ryan Mountcastle. The RBI by Mountcastle extended his streak of games with a RBI to five.
In the first two innings, the Orioles netted 10 base hits, 9 of which were singles.
Waiver claim Jorge Lopez got the start in this game, leaving with less success as opposed to his last start. Giving up five runs through 4.2 innings, Lopez left the game in the fifth after the Mets climbed back to cut the O’s lead to 5-3.
I can’t believe I’m typing this again, but DJ Stewart for the fifth time in three games, homered to give the Birds a 6-3 lead. It was first in his career off a left handed pitcher, and his fifth on the season.
The Mets would cut the lead to 6-5 in the fifth, however, the Orioles were striking with bases loaded in the sixth. With two outs and Rio Ruiz at the plate, Ruiz sent a fly ball seemingly over the head of right fielder Michael Conforto. In some bout of magic athleticism, Conforto was able to track the ball over his head and make what ultimately turned out to be a game saving catch as it saved three runs.
The Mets tied the game with a home run in the bottom of the sixth, and sealed it in the eigth with a Pete Alonso long ball.
A struggling bullpen tonight helped drop game two of this series 7-6.
The Orioles travel across New York City to start a four game set against the Yankees on Thursday starting at 7:05 pm ET. Be sure to check thebaltimorebattery.com on the web, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to catch our series preview!