The O's won their first game this year where they've scored 3 runs or less. Rich Hill, making his Orioles debut, was everything we could have realisitically expected. Hill started off shakily, throwing a lot of balls, but was helped out in the first two innings by double plays. He calmed down and ended up pitching 5.2 innings on just 88 pitches. After getting the first two outs in the 6th, Hill gave up singles to Jose Guillen and Alberto Callaspo. Because the O's were keeping Hill on a strict pitch count for his first game, Dave took him out. I would have liked to have seen him have the chance to get the final out, but the O's were clinging to a one run lead so maybe Dave had an itchy trigger finger. It worked out, as Danys Baez, Jim Johnson, and George Sherrill held the Royals hitless over the final 3.1 innings (Yes, you read that right. George Sherrill did not give up a hit. Or a walk!)
This was my first time ever seeing Rich Hill pitch. I dug his windup, an old fashioned looking thing where he leans back as he winds up. He also has a pretty sick curve ball which fooled a number of Royals.
The fourth inning was the only that gave Hill any trouble as he faced 7 batters and gave up a 2 run double to Callaspo. Otherwise he handled the Royals easily. The Royals are one of the weaker offenses Hill will have to face now that he's in the American League, but I think we can still be cautiously optimistic about Hill's return to the big leagues.
Offensively, the Orioles did just enough. In the first Brian Roberts does what Brian Roberts does so well. He took four straight pitches for the walk, stole second, stole third, and scored on a wild pitch. They added another in the 4th when Nolan Reimold singled in Melvin Mora for his first major league RBI. Their final run came in the fifth when Nick Markakis singled in Cesar Izturis. That would be all they'd need as Hill and the bullpen would go on to shut down the Royals the rest of the way.
- Ty Wigginton is totally useless. After going 0-4 tonight, Ty is now batting a robust .214. His OBP is .246 and he's slugging .299. I know Ty is being used more than he should because of injuries but it's getting ridiculous.
- Before the game Luke Scott was placed on the 15 day DL, retroactive to May 10th. That buys Reimold/Montanez 10 more days. Adam Jones is still day-to-day.
- It appeared to be furries night at Kauffman Stadium as in attendance were a man dressed like Scooby Doo and a man dressed as a giant yellow banana.
- Luis Luis Hernandez, the catalyst behind Birdland, played SS for the Royals tonight and was 1-2 with a walk.