It’s the Battle of the Birds part two! The Orioles traveled up to the make shift home of the Toronto Blue Jays, currently playing in Buffalo, for a four-game series this past weekend.
With a road loss streak of 19 games heading into this series, the Orioles had a serious record to try to avoid. Fortunately, that streak was snapped at 20 games with a win in game two of this series.
Let’s see what happened over the weekend!
Phew. This game was abysmal. Never in my life have I seen an Oriole game start and then be over so quickly. Dean Kremer was the culprit for this phenomenon, where he was unable to even escape the first inning.
Things started horribly for Kremer, who walked the first three batters he faced, allowed a run to score while recording one out, let up an RBI single, allowed a fourth walk, then surrendered a grand slam. Just like that, with only one out recorded, the Orioles were already down 6-0.
Nothing really got better in this game, except for the fact the bullpen only allowed half of the amount of runs that Kremer let up. The other three runs came off Adam Plutko, one being another monster home run by Vlad Guerrero Jr.
After three innings, the Orioles were down 9-0 and had no way to climb back in this one.
The only positive in this game is actually a huge surprise. Travis Lakins Sr. pitched four innings in this game, allowing just one hit and no runs in this outing. Even in a lost game, this is a very positive sign for a reliever who had an amazing month of April before falling off. He started the year with nine scoreless appearances and may look to have found that groove again.
The Orioles dropped this game 9-0, and Dean Kremer took his seventh loss.
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game is Travis Lakins Sr. His four scoreless innings were some of the only good in this game, while that outing also reminded us fans how good he can actually be out of the pen.
Ahhh… finally, a game recap we can be excited about! Although this game appeared to be like the previous night, the Orioles offense had other plans.
Starting this game was Matt Harvey, and he delivered his best outing in weeks. His 5.2 innings of three-run ball was just good enough to keep the Orioles in this game.
Down 1-0 in the third, Freddy Galvis tied this game up with an RBI groundout. Not conventional, but productive, and the Orioles were on the board.
After Dillon Tate allowed another two runs, the Orioles trailed 5-1 entering the eighth. Like we said in the last preview and the one before the last series against the Blue Jays, the key is getting to their bullpen. And boy, did we get at their bullpen in this game.
Ryan Mountcastle started the rally with an RBI single to make it a 5-2 game. Anthony Santander then followed with an RBI single of his own.
Then in the most clutch fashion, Austin Hays delivered a two-run double that tied up this game! His seventh on the year split the center and left fielder and made its way to the wall, scoring both Santander and Mountcastle easily. Tie ballgame!
Now in extra innings, the Orioles were on the cusp of snapping their road loss streak at 20 games. Hays advanced Trey Mancini on a groundout, then Maikel Franco drew a walk to load the bases.
What happened next is something you only see so often. With the game tied, Pat Valaika drew a walk, the third of the inning, and this walk brought home the go-ahead run!
After Cole Sulser allowed a leadoff walk in the bottom of the 10th, the defense had his back, turning a double play in the next at-bat. Susler finished the job with a strikeout and earned his second save on the year.
The Orioles finally won a road game by taking this one 6-5. Paul Fry earned the win out of the pen and moved to 1-2.
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game is Austin Hays, who came through in the clutch by tying this game with his two-RBI double in the eighth.
The last game was a lot more fun to talk about. This game played out a lot like game one, with the Blue Jays simply looking like they were in batting practice.
Keegan Akin was on the mound, and he continued to show why he is not a true starting pitcher. Through 4.1 innings, he allowed six runs off seven hits.
Now in the fifth inning, with the Orioles down 4-0, it was time for some Major League debuts. The first would be Konnor Wade, the former 2013 draft pick by the Colorado Rockies.
Every player will remember their debut forever; however, Wade would be smart to forget this one. The 29-year-old lasted 1.2 innings, and he got shelled. He allowed another six runs runs off seven hits but was able to strike out one. When he left, the O’s trailed 12-0. Welcome to The Show, Konnor!
Now Alex Wells got his chance to step on a big league mound for the first time. And let me just say, everyone at The Baltimore Battery, especially I, Justin Sutphin, have been waiting for this moment. And it was worth the wait!
In a 12-0 game, Wells came in and pitched like he was fighting for a pennant. Over two innings, Wells allowed only one hit and gave up zero runs. This was a great debut for Wells and is one he surely will never forget. Welcome to The Show, Alex!
The Orioles fought a little bit in the seventh and avoided the shutout. Pedro Severino brought in two with his single, and then the best center fielder in baseball not named Mike Trout, Cedric Mullins, brought in two more with his 21st double on the year.
The Orioles dropped this one 12-4, while Keegan Akin took his fourth loss.
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game is Alex Wells, who also becomes the only player to receive this award during his debut. The Orioles No. 17 overall prospect threw a beautiful two innings, and it looks like he will be seen some more in the near future.
Due to Freddy Galvis’ leg injury in game three of this series, the lineup for game four looked a bit different than what we’ve seen this year. With Mullins and Mancini each having a day off, the lineup consisted of newly recalled Ryan McKenna, Ramón Urías, and Domingo Leyba, who was making his Orioles debut.
Jorge López took the mound and looked to continue his upward trend, where each start of his just keeps getting a little better. This start, however, is a little speed bump on that road. Against a powerful Blue Jays lineup, López surrendered five runs on 10 hits over just 4.2 innings of work.
Ryan Mountcastle decided it didn’t matter who had days off, he was still going to rake. In the first inning, he connected with a down and in fastball on a 3-2 count and sent it over the left field wall to take a 1-0 lead. That is now his eighth home run in the month of June, while he holds a 1.037 OPS this month as well.
Things got shaky for López in the second and third innings. He saw 12 batters between those two innings and allowed three to score. Originally a fourth had scored, but a play at the plate started by a great throw from DJ Stewart was reviewed and overturned, resulting in the last out of the inning. At this point, the O’s trailed 3-1.
Ramón Urías, who was just recalled from Triple-A Norfolk, wasted no time in regards to bringing some production to his team. With Maikel Franco on first, Urías smashed a hanging curveball and sent it over the head of the center fielder. Franco scored all the way from first, and Urías’ third double on the year brought the Orioles within one run with the score being 3-2.
López let up the last of his runs in the fifth, when Cavan Biggio doubled home two more runs. This put the Blue Jays up 5-2 and ended López’s night.
After Tyler Wells delivered a scoreless 1.2 innings, Dillon Tate followed suit. Tate struck out the first four batters he faced and finished his two innings by striking out five of six batters.
The Orioles were unable to climb back, despite fantastic pitching from the bullpen, and lost this game 5-2 and dropped this series. Jorge López took his 10th loss on the year and moved to 2-10.
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game is Dillon Tate. The shaky bullpen arm came in this game and was on fire by striking out five out of six. In a close game, he kept his team in it, whether the offense was able to answer or not.
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