Don’t look now, but the Orioles won a series against a first place team! I mean, it’s a first place team in the National League, but still. They did it! Solid pitching by Dylan Bundy and throwback performances from Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis overcame late game bullpen shenanigans to get O’s a 7-5 win over the Atlanta Braves.
The fireworks started early in this one as starting pitcher Julio Teheran loaded the bases without recording an out. A walk to Colby Rasmus, a double by Adam Jones, and a walk to Manny Machado brought cleanup hitter Mark Trumbo to the plate. Trumbo did what he is paid to do: hit a dinger. A grand dinger, to be exact.
Center fielder Ender Inciarte either misjudged where Trumbo’s ball was headed or just wanted to deke everyone for fun, because he set up like he was ready to catch it in center only to have it fly over his head. Gary Thorne was certainly confused.
The grand slam gave the Orioles a 4-0 lead and Bundy gave back one of those runs in the bottom of the inning. It could have been worse, of course, as the Braves started their half of the inning with singles from Inciarte and Ozzie Albies. After a Freddie Freeman strike out, future All Star Nick Markakis singled in one run, but Bundy got out of it with a double play ball.
At that point it felt like the game would turn into a slugfest, but both pitchers settled in and in innings two, three, and four each team had just one base runner; Trumbo walked for the Orioles in the third and Kurt Suzuki doubled for the Braves in the fourth.
Things got fun again in the fifth inning. Dylan Bundy got a hit! It wasn’t a great hit, let’s be honest. It was a ground ball that went under the glove of the first baseman and off of the glove of the second baseman. But he was on base!
Just as funny as watching Bundy get on base was watching him run the bases. Let’s just say he’s a station to station kind of runner. Thankfully he didn’t get hurt, which is the real concern for pitchers on base (UNIVERSAL DH: DO IT NOW). Rasmus and Adam Jones followed with singles of their own as Bundy moved up one base each time.
After Machado hit a laser to left field for the first out, Chris Davis came to the plate. If you’re like me, you were wondering if he would be able to follow up yesterday’s performance with another encouraging day. He had a weak ground out in his first at bat, but he made up for it here.
Teheran had been missing the plate the entire inning so far, and when he went 3-0 the members of my household watching the game were in agreement that Davis should take the next two pitches to try and get a bases loaded walk. Davis had other ideas, though, launching a fly ball on 3-0 that came within just a few feet of being the team’s second grand slam of the game.
Yay, Chris! His double cleared the bases and gave the Orioles a 7-1 lead. You know, I like it when the team scores runs. It’s way more fun than when they don’t.
After his adventures on the bases, Bundy got into some trouble in the bottom half of the inning. I definitely blame it on the fact that he was required to engage in base running shenanigans. Old friend Ryan Flaherty singled and Dansby Swanson walked to start the inning, and two batters later Ozzie Albies singled in the Braves’ second run of the game. Bundy got out of it with a strike out of Freeman. Bundy kind of owned Freeman today.
After that rough inning I expected Buck Showalter to pull Bundy, but he came back out to start the seventh inning. Before I could properly express my disdain for this decision, however, Bundy struck out Charlie Culberson and Showalter pulled him from the game. So that’s fine.
What’s not fine, however, is Donnie Hart. Well, really the entire Orioles bullpen is kind of smelly but he is the one I am focused on today. Just called up to give the bullpen a hand after their 15-inning affair last night, Hart showed why he had been in the minors instead of already with the team.
With a five-run lead, Hart loaded the bases with no outs for Markakis. It still feels funny to talk about Markakis as though he’s dangerous at the plate, but the truth is that this year he is. He started the day with the most hits in the NL at 95, and while it’s kind of funny that he also leads the NL in singles, a single with the bases loaded could be pretty damaging.
But don’t worry, Nick didn’t single. He doubled! Two runs scored to make it a 7-4 game and chase Hart from the game. Thanks for everything, Donnie.
Mychal Givens replaced Hart and with two outs re-loaded the bases via a walk to bring up that other former Oriole, Ryan Flaherty. I imagined Flaherty hitting a go-ahead grand slam against his former team and I’d like to think he was imagining it too. One thing I can say is that he was not giving Givens the Aroldis Chapman treatment.
Thankfully it turns out that Flaherty isn’t really the sort to hit grand slams and instead he grounded out to second base to end the inning.
Some shoddy defense on the part of Jonathan Schoop and Givens led to another run in the eighth and a situation where Markakis came up as the go ahead run with two outs, but he struck out looking to end the inning. Thanks for that, Nick.
The most terrifying part of the game came in the bottom of the ninth when Zach Britton came in to try and close out the two-run win. If you remember last night, things didn’t go so well for Britton. But today? Well, he did walk a guy but other than that it looked like good Zach. He got a strikeout and two ground outs to end the game, securing the series win.
So that’s it! Dylan Bundy picked up his sixth win and lowered his ERA to 3.75. Zach Britton recorded his first save since September 17th, and we’ll be back at 1 p.m tomorrow to see if our guys can get their first three-game sweep of the season.
Who is the Most Birdland Player for Sunday, July 1st?
This poll is closed
Mark Trumbo (2-4, 2 solo home runs)
Kevin Gausman (8 IP, 2 ER)
Manny Machado (2-4, one home run, two RBI)