The Orioles were already steaming ahead when they entered their three-game series with the Detroit Tigers. That would not change over the weekend.
Winners of their last three, including back-to-back shutouts in a sweep of the Nationals, the Orioles were ready to attack Detroit. A well-rested bullpen and a second day off in the week, the advantage seemed to be in the Orioles’ direction.
Let’s break it all down here.
Game 1: O’s 2, DET 1
Tyler Wells, who seems to be rounding into last season’s form, was the standout of this game, and he showed why he won the fifth spot in the rotation out of spring.
Wells would go seven innings, allowing no runs. He gave up three hits and a walk, but he struck out five and was aided by two double plays. Wells would drop his ERA to 2.70.
Austin Hays would break the offensive silence in the seventh, hitting a clutch solo homer to put the O’s on the board, 1-0.
Unfortunately, Félix Bautista was unable to close the door, and the Tigers tied the game in the top of the ninth.
Ryan Mountcastle would be the offensive hero coming through with a single in the ninth. He would move to third on an Anthony Santander hit before racing home on an Adam Friazer RBI fielder’s choice.
The Birds would win by a score of 2-1 walk-off style, with Bautista (2-1) receiving the victory and securing the Orioles’ fourth win in a row.
Game 2: O’s 5, DET 1
Kyle Gibson, the much-questioned free agent signing, looked to be the veteran leader Baltimore envisioned him to be.
Gibson would pitch 6.1 innings, his fifth straight start of five-plus, allowing one run on two hits. Though he walked three, he struck out a season-high 11 in leading the Birds to a 5-1 victory.
Gibson moved to 4-0 on the season, dropping his ERA to 3.60. The veteran right-hander has been doing everything he was expected at the time of his signing.
The offense was led by Ramón Urías and Adley Rutschman in this one. After an RBI single by Rutschman, Urías cracked a three-run double to put the Birds up 4-0.
A James McCann solo home run would close the scoring for the Orioles as they would win 5-1, securing the series win and their fifth straight victory.
Game 3: O’s 2, DET 1
Former Orioles’ top pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez was set to face Orioles’ top pitching prospect, Grayson Rodriguez.
Though G-Rod didn’t have his best stuff, he worked five shutout innings. He allowed five hits and three walks while striking out six and ultimately gave the O’s the opportunity to win.
On the other side, the Orioles were held hitless until Ryan Mountcastle singled with two outs in the seventh. But it was an Anthony Santander pinch hit that changed everything.
Jorge Mateo reached on an infield hit, and Santander followed with a double. The speedy Mateo raced around from first, scoring on the play to tie the game at one a piece.
Félix Bautista and Keegan Akin would keep the Tigers scoreless through the ninth and 10th innings, respectively, to set up the Orioles for another walk-off opportunity.
With the runner at second to start the 10th, Terrin Vavra sacrificed on a textbook bunt to move the pinch runner Fraizer to third. With Mateo at the plate, Mason Englert threw a wild pitch, allowing Fraizer to score the winning run.
Though the Orioles were held to three hits, they managed to use great pitching and small ball to win the game, 2-1, sweep the series and secure their sixth straight win to move to 14-7 on the year.
For the series, Adley Rutschman and Ryan Mountcastle were the BATTERY ❌-FACTOR.
Mountcastle would score the winning run Friday and break up the perfect game Sunday. He also played strong defense, making a couple picks. Mounty would collect three hits and two runs, as he became a difference maker in the final two games.
As for Rutschman, he had two hits and an RBI for the series, but his pitch calling in the first and third games was the major difference for the Orioles.
Though the duo wasn’t loud this series at the plate, they made significant contributions that led to the series sweep and the Orioles’ ability to maintain their six-game winning streak.
The Orioles have little time to celebrate as the Boston Red Sox are coming to town to start a three-game series in Baltimore. It will be a hard-fought series against the division rivals.
The first game is Monday night at 6:35 p.m. EST with Dean Kremer taking the mound. Will the streak continue, or will the Red Sox be a thorn in the Birds’ side again?
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