The Orioles finished up their road trip in Seattle, besting a good hitting team in two out of three games. The starting pitching was great, and it ended with a historic outing, one that will be remembered forever by all Oriole fans, especially John Means.
Beginning this late night series in Seattle was Dean Kremer on the mound for the Orioles. So far this season, Kremer has struggled, holding an 8.40 ERA and 0-2 record in the month of April. However, a new month is here, and a new Dean Kremer was on the mound in T-Mobile Park.
Through six innings, Kremer allowed just one run off two hits. The one run came as a result of a solo home run in the fifth inning. This start was the deepest Kremer had went so far this season; his previous best was 4.2 innings on 4/17/21 against the Rangers.
There wasn’t much offense on either side of this game, with the first run being Tom Murphy’s solo home run off Kremer in the fifth inning.
Finally in the eighth, the Orioles decided to score enough runs for a nine-inning game all at once.
The scoring started with Cedric Mullins’ fifth long ball of the season, a ball that barely got over the glove of Mitch Haniger in right-center and over the wall. This two-run shot put the O’s up 2-1.
The Birds weren’t done yet in this inning. Maikel Franco brought home a run on a groundout, and that was followed by another two-run bomb, this one off the bat of Freddy Galvis. After the eighth inning, the Birds went up 5-1.
Luckily due to some insurance runs in that eighth inning, a two-run home run that was let up by Shawn Armstrong didn’t do much damage. César Valdez then came on in the ninth, and after a stressful inning, he put this game away.
The Orioles took game one of this series 5-3. Cole Sulser earned the win in his one inning of work, and Valdez picked up his seventh save.
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game is Cedric Mullins. Like many games before, Mullins provided a majority of the Orioles’ offense. He went 3-for-5, including his two-RBI home run. Honorable mention to Dean Kremer, who did a fantastic job in his six-inning outing.
Hoping to ride the momentum of the night before set by Dean Kremer was game two’s starter, Jorge López. All in all, López pitched a pretty good game, but was once again haunted by his mortal enemy, the fifth inning.
López was cruising through the first three innings, allowing just one hit to that point. In the fourth, the forgotten Seager brother, Kyle, launched a ball into right field to put the Mariners up 1-0.
The O’s answered right away, when Rio Ruiz launched a ball of his own into the right field seats. This home run by Ruiz tied this game at 1-1.
The fifth inning monster would again haunt López, who was pulled in that inning after two consecutive walks and a single. Adam Plutko then came in to save the last two thirds of the inning, while adding a clean sixth inning as well.
Now in the eighth inning, the score was still tied at 1-1, and Travis Lakins Sr. entered the game. Following a single and two walks, the bases were loaded. The Mariners took the lead on a sacrifice fly, forcing Lakins Sr. out of the game.
With two runners on base credited to Lakins Sr., Tanner Scott let 2020 AL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis put this one out of reach with his three-run home run. This put the Mariners out in front 5-1.
The Orioles were unable to make a comeback in the ninth and dropped game two 5-2. Travis Lakins Sr. took the loss and moved to 1-3.
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game is Trey Mancini. An easy choice here, Mancini kept his undercover hot streak going with a 3-for-5 day, including the lone Oriole RBI.
Game three of this series gave us so much to speak about. Like I had said was necessary in my series preview for this set against the Mariners, the Oriole offense did a fantastic job of providing the run support to alleviate pressure for the starters.
DJ Stewart got the Birds on the board in the second inning with his base hit against the shift that scored Ryan Mountcastle. Ramón Urías followed that with an RBI single of his own, putting the Orioles up 2-0. This early surge helped starter John Means. More on him later.
Pat Valaika added some insurance in the seventh by lifting his first home run of the year over the left field wall. Then in the eighth, Trey Mancini also followed my series preview advice and stayed red hot. He blasted his sixth home run on the year, a three-run bomb that gave the Orioles and Means a commanding 6-0 lead.
Heading into this game three, John Means had been atop the AL in every pitcher category. With this historic start of his on May 5, 2021, Means delivered the best of his entire career.
With his first complete game no-hitter, Means became just the sixth Orioles starter to record a no-hit game and the first O’s starter to do so since Jim Palmer in 1969. Great job John Means, and welcome to MLB immortality!
From the very beginning of this game, Means was absolutely unhittable! Means certainly had help from his defense, with a laser line drive being caught by Maikel Franco at third early in the game, a sliding grab by Mullins in the sixth, and a deep left field fly out caught by Austin Hays on the warning track. But at the end of the day, Means was commanding his pitches more than he has ever before and tied his career-high by striking out 12 batters in the process. Mariner hitters hardly ever were given a good time to get to Means, as he threw first pitch strikes to 26 out of 27 hitters. Incredible!
Actually, this was the first no-hitter in history that didn’t include a walk, hit batter, or an error. In other words, the closest you can physically be to a perfect game without actually doing so. The sole base runner came as a result of a dropped third strike by Pedro Severino. The pitch was a filthy curveball that skipped between the legs of Severino, who actually threw that runner out attempting to steal second base during the next at-bat.
John Means earned his fourth win (4-0) and dropped his ERA to 1.37. The Orioles take game three 6-0 and take this series on the road as well.
This doesn’t even need to be said. The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game goes to John Means. Can we please start respecting him as one of the best starters in the American League, or even the entire MLB, for that matter?
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