Nothing can erase the nightmarish memories from the 2014 American League Championship Series. However, this series victory in Kansas City does taste a little sweeter. Also, it’s nice to start the second half off with a series win!
The Orioles played good all-around baseball in games two and three this series, following a poor game one performance. Although the O’s and Royals scored 15 runs each in this series, a shut-out victory in game three by Matt Harvey and the Oriole bullpen was the difference maker.
A few bats in the offense stepped up, including Ramón Urías, who went 4-for-12 in this series (.300) with four RBI. Since being recalled from Norfolk, he has hit in 11 of his 15 games, with 10 total RBI.
Here is a breakdown of what happened in Kansas City!
The first game of this set was one to forget. Keegan Akin was on the mound, and he pitched how we expected. He was shelled for six runs in three innings, while walking three batters to just two strikeouts. By the end of the second inning, the Orioles were already down 5-0.
A lack of offensive production kept this game one-sided. Pedro Severino, surprisingly, was the only one who showed up, with a 3-for-4 effort with a solo home run.
The first Orioles run came in the fourth, when it was a 6-0 game. Later on, Severino smashed his solo homer in the eighth to make it 9-2.
The Royals took this first game 9-2, and Keegan Akin took his fifth loss.
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game is Pedro Severino. He turned in his finest offensive performance this year; unfortunately, it came in a losing effort.
Game two is where the fun started. The offense turned things around, this time being the ones to go ahead early and stay ahead.
The Orioles mustered up 11 hits in this game, seven of them coming with RISP. The O’s went 7-for-14 with RISP on the day, and the score followed.
The Birds turned in a five run effort in the third inning. Already up 2-0, the Orioles broke it open with five different RBI singles. It was a classic display of great hitting, as the offense sent line drives all over the diamond over and over. All while the booth crew was interviewing John Means, the offense ended the inning with a 7-0 run lead.
The run support certainly helped Jorge López, although he still ran into some trouble in the fifth. With a 8-1 lead, he started to implode. A wild pitch started the scoring for the Royals, then a sacrifice fly and an RBI single made it a 8-4 game.
The bullpen put in great work, delivering 4.1 scoreless innings with just two hits allowed. Tyler Wells and Paul Fry both pitched very well, and Fry picked up the win to move to 3-3.
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game is Ramón Urías. Urías has continued to stay red hot since his recent call-up, and his 2-for-4 performance with two RBI is further proof he is coming around.
On the anniversary of the release of The Dark Knight movie, “The Dark Knight”, a.k.a. Matt Harvey, was released once again. In his first good start in weeks, Harvey tossed a six-inning gem, with no runs allowed and just three hits. Harvey was using all of his stuff and continued to deliver weak contact outs, as the offense provided just enough support.
Austin Hays’ bat came alive today with a 2-for-5 effort, and Ramón Urías was red hot once again. He tallied another two hits with two more RBI.
Urías started the scoring in the third inning with his two-RBI single down the right field line. Mancini added to the lead in the fifth with an RBI single of his own.
Still holding the shut-out, the Orioles put the icing on the cake with an Austin Wynns double in the sixth. Then in the eighth, a fielding error let the O’s fifth run cross, and that put this game out of reach.
Harvey and the bullpen completed the shut-out win, and the Orioles took the first series of the second half!
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game is Matt Harvey! Harvey turned in his first good start, in what seems like forever. This was his first win since May 1.
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