The Orioles scored 23 runs across their first series against the Boston Red Sox, though they walked away with only one victory. They came to Arlington to face a powerful foe with fans hopeful that the pitching would come around.
It’s easy to say that the Orioles got what they bargained for, even among the chaos that ensued. The Birds took two of three in Texas before heading home to face off against the New York Yankees on Friday.
In game one, Kyle Bradish was looking to get the starters on track. After a strong first inning and retiring two to start the second, Bradish would take a line drive off his right foot and have to be removed from the game. He was later diagnosed with a contusion and was placed on the 15-day IL.
Suddenly, the overworked bullpen was put into scramble mode. Tuesday’s scheduled starter Tyler Wells volunteered to fill in and once again showed why he is a dominant force for the Orioles going forward.
Wells would pitch five innings of hitless ball in leading the Orioles to a 2-0 one-hit shutout. Félix Bautista would also pick up a save in this one.
Solo home runs from Gunnar Henderson and Jorge Mateo accounted for the scoring, as the Orioles were held to four hits in what became a pitching duel.
Game two saw Wednesday’s starter, Kyle Gibson, move up and pitch on normal rest. Would it have any effect on the veteran?
Gibson would pitch seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He had fivestrikeoutss and walked two batters, as he won his second game to open the season.
On offense, Ryan Mountcastle paced the Birds with a three-run home run and a double, as he carried over from his strong spring.
Mateo, who enjoyed his time in Arlington, hit his second home run of the series, a two-run shot. The Orioles had a five-run second inning as they headed toward a 7-2 victory and their first series win of the season.
Wednesday turned into every Oriole fans’ dream, as the team recalled top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez to make his major league debut in his home state.
Acting as a somewhat home game for Rodriguez, Baseball America’s No. 7 prospect struggled through the first inning, as he allowed two runs and threw 29 pitches. Nerves seemed to be the way Texas would get to the young righty.
Rodriguez would not be deterred, as he settled in and held the Rangers to just two hits and no runs the rest of the way.
His final line read five innings, four hits, two runs, one walk and five strikeouts. Though he didn’t get a decision, he gave the Orioles everything they had been waiting for over the past few years.
Unfortunately, the bullpen was the culprit again, as Austin Voth promptly gave up a two-run home run. He finished with 1.1 innings, allowing four hits and three runs while striking out three.
The offense tallied two runs (one earned) on two hits against Jacob deGrom, as he struck out 11 across six innings in leading the Rangers to a 5-2 victory.
The BATTERY ❌-FACTOR for the series was the O’s offensive production. As they pounded out 23 runs in the first series, it was the ability to continue that hot start that would determine the fate of the series against Texas.
Though not totally wrong here, as the Birds did win two of three, the offense cooled a bit, totaling 14 hits and 11 runs across the series.
This series came down to pitching. With a taxed bullpen and scrambling to fill the rotation, it was the O’s pitching that tipped the series to their favor. The offense did hit four more home runs but was held to four hits in the first game and only two in the last.
The Orioles head home to Baltimore for the first time this season, where they will face their AL East rival New York Yankees. Opening Day was pushed back to Friday, still with a game time of 3:05 p.m. EST, due to a high possibility of inclimate weather.
Dean Kremer will open the series on the mound. The Orioles are now 3-3 on the young season.
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