It wasn’t the easiest nor the prettiest, but the Orioles got the job done. They won their fifth road game of season by beating the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago on Monday night. For another day, the O’s will not be at the bottom of the MLB standings.
Andrew Cashner took the hill for Baltimore and proceeded to tiptoe around baserunners all night. He managed to strand four White Sox in the his first four frames, but then got into trouble in the fifth.
The Orioles righty was the beneficiary of some poor base-running. With one out already recorded in the inning, Adam Engel was thrown out at second base by Trey Mancini while trying to stretch a single into a double. Following a walk to Yoan Moncada and a single by Yolmer Sanchez, Jose Abreu doubled to the corner in left field. Moncada scored but Sanchez was gunned down at the plate on an inning-ending relay from Mancini to Manny Machado to Andrew Susac.
Cashner continued into the sixth inning, but wouldn’t record an out. Daniel Palka led off with a ground rule double and moved to third on a Matt Davidson single up the middle. A Leury Garcia ground rule double ended Cashner’s night, but did not close out his pitching line. That would be left up to Mychal Givens.
Baltimore’s relief ace came into a tough situation: runners on second and third with no outs. It would have been a successful outing to just allow one run. Givens did even better. He got former Oriole Welington Castillo to pop up weakly to first base and then overpowered Tim Anderson and Engel in a pair of strikeouts to end the inning. Givens returned to the mound in the seventh for a less stressful 1-2-3 frame to close out his account for the night.
Givens has been so impressive lately. The submariner has not allowed an earned run since May 3, and his ability to go multiple innings and strand runners is useful on a team in such flux.
The O’s scoring started with, who else, Machado. The future AL MVP launched an absolute bomb in the fourth inning to give the good guys a 1-0 lead at the time.
Mark Trumbo’s second DONG of the season doubled the lead to begin the fifth inning. And Adam Jones put a cap on the O’s scoring with a solo home run of his own in the sixth inning.
This is not to say that this was a banner day of Orioles offense. Apart from the three homers, they were only able to muster two other hits. Singles from Jonathan Schoop and Joey Rickard and a walk apiece to Mancini, Jones and Machado provided the only other assistance.
Richard Bleier delivered a scoreless eighth inning and then made way for “closer” Brad Brach to wrap things. As has become customary lately, Brach made a complete mess but he was able to clean it all up.
It started fine enough with a strikeout of Anderson. But a walk to Engel and a single from Moncada started trouble. Brad had his good stuff tonight, and it showed in a four-pitch strikeout of Sanchez to get the second out of the inning. Preferring to face Trayce Thompson, Brad intentionally walked Jose Abreu to pitch to Thompson. This was a wise decision as Thompson also struck out on just four pitches. Brach secured his seventh save of the season and gave the Orioles fanbase further heart palpitations in the process.
Prior to this, in the Orioles half of the ninth, Trumbo was ejected for the first time in his career. Aside from the home run, the slugger had a tough night at the plate. He struck three times and was unhappy with the strike zone the entire game. He likely felt it was his final at-bat anyway, so why not go out kicking and screaming.
These two clubs continue the four-game series on Tuesday evening in the Windy City. Kevin Gausman (3-3, 3.88 ERA) starts for the orange and black. He will be opposed by Chicago’s James Shields (1-4, 4.88 ERA). Yes, he is still in the big leagues. First pitch is set for 8:10 p.m. in Birdland.
Who was the Most Birdland Player for May 21, 2018?
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Andrew Cashner (W, 5.0 IP, 2 R, 8 H, 3 BB, 4 SO)
Mychal Givens (H, 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 SO, worked out of big jam)
Brad Brach (S, 1.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 3 SO)
Manny Machado (massive solo shot)
Mark Trumbo (one-run homer of his own)
Adam Jones (game-winning homer)