The old baseball adage states that every team will win 60 games, and will lose 60 games. It’s the other 42 that will determine a team’s fate.
Unfortunately for Baltimore, the 60 wins is far from a given this season. But every dog has its day, and every blind squirrel finds a nut. The Orioles found that nut in the final game of a three game series against the Athletics. The Birds managed a 5-3 victory against the A’s Thursday night.
The Orioles did not waste any time, jumping out to a two run lead in the bottom of the first. Rookie Cedric Mullins led off with an infield single, and Jonathan Villar reached on a bunt single to put two on with one out. Tim Beckham was the designated hitter tonight, which opened up a spot at short for Villar at short.
Beckham ripped a single up the middle that plated Mullins and Villar, and gave the O’s a two-run lead. With Adam Jones and Chris Davis on the bench tonight, a few players that may factor into the team’s future plans made a difference.
The A’s cut the lead in half with a solo home run in the top of the second. Stephen Piscotty blasted a solo shot to center off of Dylan Bundy. The bomb was the 38th round-tripper that Bundy had surrendered this year, and cast some doubt on whether Bundy could finally turn in a quality start.
However, Bundy shocked O’s fans by settling into a groove. The righty tossed six innings, surrendered six hits, and allowed only two runs. Bundy missed bats all night, and struck out eight Oakland batters.
Bundy was in desperate need of a quality start. His second-half ERA had climbed to 8.29, and he had not provided the organization any sign that he could turn things around. After the Orioles dealt Kevin Gausman at the deadline, Bundy’s future was called into question. Like Gausman, Bundy would probably benefit from a change of scenery. But the Orioles would love to see one of their former top picks be a part of the rebuild.
The Orioles added two more runs in the fourth inning. Trey Mancini continued his strong second half with a lead off single, and Renato Nunez followed with a one-out single of his own. After the two advanced on a wild pitch, Mancini came around to score on an infield single by John Andreoli.
Breyvic Valera, who came over in the Manny Machado trade, singled to center and drove in the fourth run of the game.
The A’s trimmed the lead to one when Paul Fry walked a batter with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. The game felt like it was slipping away, but Mychal Givens came in and retired two A’s hitters to end the threat.
The Orioles used a little two-out magic to add a crucial insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Beckham laced a two-out single to left field, before Jace Peterson stepped up to the plate. Peterson ripped a double to left that drove in the O’s fifth run.
Givens stayed on to close out the ninth inning. Bundy was credited with the win, Miguel Castro notched his third hold, and Givens recorded his seventh save.
The Orioles sent fans in Camden Yards home happy for the first time in a while, and hopefully that will carry over. The Birds kick off a three-game series agains the White Sox tomorrow, before hosting the Blue Jays.
Luis Ortiz gets the start for Baltimore tomorrow against James Shields. Maybe the youngster can turn tonight’s victory into a winning streak.
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