In the stadium’s 16-year existence, the Baltimore Orioles have never lost a series played in Busch Stadium III.
To be fair, this was the first series the O’s have ever played in that stadium. However, a win is a win, and 1-0 is still undefeated.
The Orioles traveled out to St. Louis and were able to win two out of three games for a couple of reasons – those being pitching and defense.
Besides game two’s meltdown by Spenser Watkins, this series featured great pitching and defense that was just as good.
The O’s defense turned six double plays in these three games, with games one and two each featuring all six, three in each game.
Jorge Mateo turned two amazing double plays. The second came on a fly all in shallow left that he caught with has back turned to the infield, then fired to first base to snag the runner who hadn’t tagged up to end game three.
The offense offered just enough production, with a lot of it coming from unlikely sources.
Let’s waste mo more time! Here is what happened in St. Louis:
This series was started by Kyle Bradish, who was still searching for his first major league victory.
He would absolutely earn his first major league victory in this one.
Bradish tossed seven innings with just two runs allowed, striking out 11. His fastball that sat around 97 mph, paired with his wicked slider, had the Cardinals lineup absolutely fooled.
And that is with names like Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Yadier Molina in their lineup. Bradish got Arenado to strikeout twice and ground into a double play in his three at-bats.
The offense clicked in this one with two home runs, while Cedric Mullins went 4-for-5, and Santander went 3-for-5.
The offense took the lead for Bradish in the third and never let go. The first two runs came from Mullins, who blasted a two-run shot to left field. This put the O’s up, 2-0.
In the third, Tyler Nevin got his first turn with the home run chain. He demolished a ball to deep left-center with the bases empty to give the O’s a 3-0 lead.
Santander brought home a run on his third double of the year in the fifth. That was followed by an RBI single by Trey Mancini in the sixth to put the O’s up, 5-0.
Bradish found his first bit of real trouble for the night in the sixth. With a runner on, Harrison Bader hit a deep fly that just got past the reach of Mullins’ glove, bounced off the wall and shot awkwardly to the left of both Mullins and Santander for an inside-the-park two-run homer. This cut the O’s lead to 5-2.
In impressive fashion, Bradish then struck out the next three batters in order to escape that inning.
The Cardinals added one more run in the ninth off Dillon Tate, although it didn’t really matter. This is mainly because Félix Bautista relieved Tate with two runners on and two outs, striking out the last batter with a nasty splitter.
The Orioles won game one, 5-3.
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game, as voted by our followers on Twitter, is Kyle Bradish! This was an easy one. Bradish’s seven-inning, 11-strikeout victory made him only the second MLB pitcher ever to have 11 strikeouts and no walks in one of his first three career starts.
This game was ugly, so this will be quick.
Watkins got the start, and he looked like the Watkins from 2021. He allowed seven runs in just 3.2 innings, making it so the Orioles really never had a chance in this one.
Watkins’ first and third innings were not bad at all. However, he gave up three runs in the second and four in two thirds of the fourth. By the time Watkins exited, the O’s were down, 7-0.
The Birds did put up one run in the fifth on a Robinson Chirinos double. But that was all, and the O’s dropped game two, 10-1.
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game, as voted by our followers on Twitter, is Robinson Chirinos. He added the only Orioles run of the game on his third double of the year.
This was a very good game of baseball that ended up coming down to the wire.
Both pitching staffs were great, with the Orioles getting a surprisingly great start by Bryan Baker in a bullpen game.
Baker opened it up for the O’s with 2.1 innings of scoreless ball. Keegan Akin followed with 2.2 zero-run innings, then Tate added another scoreless inning. Cionel Pérez and Joey Krehbiel gave up two runs combined over 1.2 innings, then Bautista finished it with a four-out save.
The defense was stellar behind the pitchers today, including three double plays, one of which ended the game, a beautiful diving play by Rylan Bannon in his major league debut and a ball that bounced off Krehbiel that still turned into an out.
As mentioned, this was Rylan Bannon’s major league debut. He made the most of it by hitting a single on the very first pitch he saw, robbed Arenado of a double with a diving play and showed off his cannon of an arm from the hot corner.
Mateo got the scoring started in the second, right before Bannon’s single. He earned the home run chain once again with his second long ball of the year. The O’s took a 1-0 lead from the blast.
Both offenses were stagnant until the seventh. The O’s added some much-needed insurance in that inning, as Anthony Bemboom showed his power with his first home run since September of 2020. Mullins then added another run on an RBI single to take a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, things started getting interesting when Pérez gave up his first run of the year. The solo blast cut the lead to 3-1.
The Cardinals added a sacrifice fly in the eighth to make it a 3-2 game. Bautista relieved Krehbiel with two outs in the inning, and it was over from there.
Bautista reached 100 mph on nearly every fastball he threw in this outing on the way to his save.
The Orioles held on to win game three, 5-3, and win this series. That makes three series wins out of the last four, with the only exception being a series split.
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game, as voted by our followers on Twitter, is Jorge Mateo! Mateo shined in this one, as he e hit his second home run of the year and made a few spectacular plays at shortstop.
The O’s are headed to see an old friend in Jonathan Schoop, as they had to Detroit to play a three-game series against the Tigers. Keep an eye out for our Series Preview coming out later this afternoon!
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