The Orioles broke out of their losing skid and Chris Davis broke an unenviable record. The Birds offense put together 15 hits, including a double, two triples and two home runs to beat the visiting Oakland Athletics by a score of 12-4 at Camden Yards on Monday night.
Let’s get the national headline from this game out of the way. Davis broke the record for most consecutive at-bats without a hit. The Orioles first baseman went 0-for-5 and now stands alone in futility with 49 straight at-bats and not one hit to show for it.
To his credit, not all of Davis’s trips to the plate tonight were bad. He lined out weakly to right field in the second inning and struck out twice towards the end of the game, but in between those three plate appearances, he hit a pair of sharp line drives with an expected batting average of .310 and .580 respectively. But they were outs nonetheless and the world keeps spinning.
It should be noted that the Orioles fans that did show up to Camden Yards (6,585 announced attendance) were in fine spirits whenever Davis made his way to the plate. Perhaps it was disingenuous, but it didn’t sound like it. They greeted him warmly, because why not? We are all in this nightmare together.
Anyway, back to things that were actually fun to watch at Camden Yards on Monday night!
The Orioles offense got started early and maintained constant pressure on Athletics starter Marco Estrada and the rest of their pitching staff.
Trey Mancini kicked things off with a two-out solo home run onto the right field flag court in the home half of the first inning to give the Birds a quick 1-0 lead.
A little league home run from Cedric Mullins in the bottom of second inning extended the O’s advantage to 4-0. With Jesus Sucre and Richie Martin aboard, Mullins pulled an Estrada offering down the first base line into the right field corner. Sucre and Martin both scored easily. Mullins and the relay throw to third base both reached the bag at the same. The throw ricochetted off Mullins towards the Oakland dugout, allowing Mullins enough time to collect himself and scurry home. This would be the first of three triples for the O’s on the night.
Orioles pitcher Andrew Cashner made his way through the first two innings unscathed but then let the A’s back into the game in the third inning. First, he issued a lead-off walk to Mark Canha. Then he left a fastball in the middle of the plate for Josh Phegley, who deposited the pitch into the left field seats to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Luckily for Casher, the offense had his back in a big way. They got those two runs right back in the fourth inning. Mullins got the rally started with a triple to the gap in right-center field and then came around to score on Jonathan Villar’s third home run of the season. This one was a 415-ft bomb to center field.
The 6-2 lead was comfortable, but after a weekend in which just about everything the New York Yankees hit left the ballpark, you would be forgiven for expressing a bit of doubt that the O’s were in the clear.
Those feelings were vindicated when Canha went deep to lead off the fifth inning, a monster shot that left the bat at nearly 108 mph and traveled 436 feet into the Baltimore night, trimming the O’s lead to just 6-3.
Oakland would score once more in the game to make things close. In the sixth inning, with Marcus Semien and Jurickson Profar aboard and Canha at the plate once again, Profar broke for second base. Canha struck out on the pitch and Sucre threw down to second to nab the runner, but the throw got past Villar, scoring Semien from third and making it a 6-4 contest. That was the closest that the A’s would get for the rest of the night.
The O’s offense went right back to padding their lead in the bottom of the frame. Martin tripled to lead off and then scored on a Mullins sacrifice fly. That would then be followed by a five spot in the eighth inning, all of which were manufactured without aid of a home run. As a group, the O’s collected five hits and a walk in the inning to give themselves their 12-4 final score line.
With an offensive outburst like that and a massive margin of victory, there are plenty of kudos to go around. Here are just a few notes:
-Mullins and Martin combined for three triples. The last time the Orioles hit three triples in one game was April 29, 1993, before either of those two players were even born.
-Martin also recorded the first multi-hit and three-hit game of his big league career. For the first time, he really looked like he belonged in an MLB lineup.
-Jimmy Yacabonis came into relieve Cashner and did a nice job to get out of a minor jam and tip toe through some messes of his own.
-Mychal Givens entered in the eighth inning to deal with a Yacabonis mess. He struck out one and induced a groundball to end the threat.
-Hanser Alberto can play some defense. He did make a throwing error, but it came after a nice diving grab in the gap between third base and shortstop. He made similar sprawling stops about three other times throughout the night. He’s no Manny Machado, but he seems up to the task.
This game was a lot of fun to watch. The defense had its miscues but was steady overall. The offense was firing on nearly all cylinders. The pitching was solid. It was the type of game that a competitive team plays with regularity. These Orioles probably won’t do that, but they showed that it is in them on occasion.
These same two teams meetup again on Tuesday night. John Means (1-0, 1.59 ERA) will take the mound for the O’s and make his first career start. He will be opposed by fellow lefty Brett Anderson (2-0, 2.38 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
Who was the Most Birdland Player on Monday, April 8, 2019?
This poll is closed
Jonathan Villar (2-for-5, HR, 4 RBI)
Trey Mancini (3-for-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB)
Hanser Alberto (1-for-5, 2 RBI, steady defense)
Richie Martin (3-for-4, 3 R, 1 3B)
Cedric Mullins (2-for-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 3B)
Andrew Cashner (W, 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 9 H, 1 BB, 1 SO)
Jimmy Yacabonis (H, 2.0 IP, cleaned up Cashner’s mess)
Mychal Givens (H, 0.2 IP, 1 SO, cleaned up Yac’s mess)