The Kanas City Royals have always been the proverbial thorn in the side for the Baltimore Orioles. Never an easy series against them, Kansas City was prepared to fight.
With the Orioles starters trying to get ready for one of the toughest stretches of the season, their A-game was needed in order to prepare for the fight ahead.
This series had lead changes in two games and a shutdown game in between. So let’s take a look and see how it all unfolded in the series win for the Birds.
Game 1: O’s 11, KC 7
The Royals showed they weren’t going to be a pushover, as they jumped on Tyler Wells for three runs in the first inning. But with the Orioles, no lead is safe until the final out, and Wells went into lockdown mode.
Wells (2-1) would allow four total runs across six innings, allowing three hits and an uncharacteristic three walks with four strikeouts. Wells’ outing allowed the Birds offense to take over.
Aided by a Ryan Mountcastle explosion, the Orioles would score 10 runs from the fourth to sixth inning. Mountcastle would collect two-run homers in the fourth and fifth inning, respectively, and an RBI double in the sixth inning, as he ended his day with five RBIs.
Jorge Mateo, James McCann, Adley Rutschman, Ramón Urías and Cedric Mullins (2) all collected RBI hits to round out the 11-run explosion.
Mike Baumann allowed three runs before the bullpen quieted the Royals behind Cionel Pérez, Bryan Baker and Yennier Canó, and a run-saving catch by Mullins, to help the Orioles post an 11-7 victory.
Game 2: O’s 0, KC 6
Two things happened in this game, as the Royals not only collected their first shutout of the season, but it was the first time the Orioles were shut out as well.
Through six innings, Kyle Gibson was efficient, allowing two runs, but gave up four runs in the seventh as the Royals pulled away.
On offense, the Birds struggled to gain any traction against Zack Greinke. The offense totaled six hits for the game, as they were shut down and unable to capitalize.
Keegan Akin pitched 1.1 innings, but it was also the first game this season where Orioles’ pitchers failed to strike out a batter. The Birds would fall 6-0, setting up a rubber game for the finale of the series.
Game 3: O’s 13, KC 10
Game three was a back and forth contest that saw the Orioles jump out to an 8-1 lead. Grayson Rodriguez seemed to be in the driver’s seat before allowing five more runs to end his day after just 3.2 innings and six earned runs total.
The Royals used nine extra bases hits (five doubles, a triple and three home runs) to claw back and take a 9-8 lead. With the bullpen having an off day, the offense was left to try and come back for the 11th time this season.
Led by Anthony Santander (third straight two-hit game) and Gunnar Henderson two-run homers early in the game, it was Ramón Urías who led the Birds to the comeback. The Orioles would score five times between the eighth and ninth inning, using five stolen bases to help them take a 13-9 lead.
It was then up to Danny Coulombe, Yennier Canó (1-0) and April AL Reliever of the Month, Félix Bautista, to close the Royals down and lead the Birds to a 13-10 victory.
The Orioles won their seventh series in a row and move to 21-10 on the season.
The BATTERY ❌-FACTOR was Tyler Wells’ and Kyle Gibson’s ability to go deep into the game.
While both achieved that (Wells – six innings and Gibson – 6.2 innings), the bullpen still would pitch 10 innings across the series. Heading into the next stretch, the Orioles will continue to need length from the starting rotation.
While the ❌-FACTOR was covered in innings pitched, the results were a 1-1 record, allowing 10 earned runs across 11 innings (8.18 ERA). They combined to allow 13 hits, three walks and three strikeouts. Those numbers will need to improve against teams like Atlanta and Tampa Bay.
The Orioles have a short time to celebrate their recent series win, as they will head to Atlanta to face the Braves starting tomorrow night. Will the Birds keep flying high, or will the Braves ground the Orioles?
What do you think of this series win? Let us know in the comments below! Make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!
Like Stephen’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @SRJHeckman