They did it! The Orioles won a baseball game! It had been nine days, but the boys from Baltimore finally put together a solid start, timely offense and an impressive effort from the bullpen to beat another major league team. It was the Kansas City Royals who had to feel the agony of defeat, losing 5-3 at Camden Yards on Wednesday evening. Everybody hug somebody!
There’s not much to say about the first three innings of this affair. Things really got going in the fourth frame when a Salvador Perez single and Lucas Duda home run put the visitors up 2-0 over Andrew Cashner and the Birds.
Cashner’s continued inability to keep the ball in the ballpark is concerning. He’s now given up 10 long balls in 44.2 innings of work. The righty gave up just 15 home runs in 166.2 innings last season. Camden Yards is a hitter’s park, but that’s a little ridiculous.
The only other trouble that the Orioles starter got into was a run he allowed on a Duda single to score Jorge Soler from second base in the sixth inning. Other than that, he was pretty good. Over six innings, he allowed three runs on six hits, two walks and three strikeouts en route to a no decision. He routinely shows an ability to keep the O’s in the game, even if the offense doesn’t always support him.
However, the bats were not totally asleep in this one. They also did some scoring of their own in the fourth inning. Their runs came on the home run as well, but they did one better.
Adam Jones and Jonathan Schoop singled to give the O’s runners on first and third with one out. Mark Trumbo followed and weakly popped up on a 1-0 pitch. With this team, it felt inevitable that they would waste such a perfect scoring opportunity, especially with Chris Davis trotting up to the plate. But our negativity was silenced for a brief, beautiful moment as Crush laced a line drive to left-center field and into the bleachers for an Earl Weaver special to put the good guys up 3-2 at the time.
Jones squandered a chance to add to the lead in the next inning. The centerfielder grounded into a double play to end a threat that had been started by a Craig Gentry walk and Caleb Joseph single.
After Cashner’s evening was over, he was relieved by future All-Star Richard Bleier and his spaghetti arm. As is customary, the southpaw forced lots of weak contact and worked his way out of a couple jams.
In the seventh, a Jon Jay single was erased by an inning-ending Soler double play. In the eighth inning, Perez singled with one out, but he too was sent back to bench by a 4-6-3 via a Duda grounder. Just like that, Bleier’s evening was over and he had, once again, provided some steady work out of the ‘pen.
The Baltimore offense didn’t want their soon-to-be Midsummer Classic rep to go away empty handed, so they decided to link together a couple of hits and send him home with a win, his third of the season.
With two outs, a single from Manny Machado and a double from Schoop put runners on second and third for Trumbo. The pitching coach came out to speak with reliever Kevin McCarthy. Who knows what he said, but it didn’t work. Trumbo smacked a single up the middle that nearly ripped McCarthy’s lips off, plating both of the previously mentioned runners.
The two RBI single gave the Birds a 5-3 lead to turn over to closer Brad Brach. Which is totally fine. Not worried at all. He’s great. The best! Woo. Brach walked the first batter on four pitches.
Son of a...
It only got worse before it got better. Alex Gordon grounded to “third baseman” Danny Valencia, who fed to Schoop covering second. It could have been a double play, but Schoop dropped the feed and, instead, everyone was safe after the initial “out” call at second was overturned. Everything after this point is based on the box score alone because I went numb with anger. Apparently, that’s a thing.
Alcides Escobar lined out and Ryan Goins struck out. Up stepped Jon Jay. During the at-bat, both runners stole to give Kansas City men on second and third with two outs. Blood pressure: boiling
Somehow, someway, Brach managed to strike out Jay and get the Orioles back into the win column for the first time in May.
Ah, this team is bad. They downright stink sometimes, but it still feels good to get a win. It gives us hope that, if these guys can do it, anything’s possible. At least until the next unbearable streak of bad baseball. But that’s not something to worry about now. Tonight, the Orioles are winners once again and still only one game away from being the second-worst team in MLB.
These two teams will finish off the series on Thursday night. Ian Kennedy starts for the Royals (1-3, 2.92 ERA), and he will be opposed by Orioles hurler Chris Tillman (1-5, 9.24 ERA), who somehow is getting another chance to start a Major League Baseball game. Can the Birds make it two wins in a row? Imagine!
Who was the Most Birdland Player for May 9, 2019?
This poll is closed
Andrew Cashner (ND, 6 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 3 SO, 2 BB)
Chris Davis (3-run homer)
Richard Bleier (2 scoreless IP out of the bullpen)
Brad Brach (two-strikeout save)
Mark Trumbo (go-ahead 2-RBI single)