The Orioles earned a tough-fought win at Camden Yards on Friday night, overcoming an early 5-0 deficit to beat the San Francisco Giants 6-5 thanks to a Dwight Smith grand slam, a rare flawless night from the bullpen and a bizarre outing from Andrew Cashner.
Somehow, someway Cashner threw five innings in this game. This cannot be verified, but there was almost certainly voodoo or some sort of spiritual sacrifice involved. There would have to be considering the big righty tossed 46 pitches just to get the first three outs of the game, and boy were they tough outs to come by.
The first three hitters that Cashner faced all reached base and eventually scored. Joe Panik walked, Mike Yastrzemski tripled and Buster Posey singled to lead off the game and quickly give the visitors a 2-0 advantage.
Following a Brandon Belt fly out, it took five more hitters to extend that lead to 5-0: Pablo Sandoval singled, Evan Longoria walked, Brandon Crawford drove in Posey with a sacrifice fly, Kevin Pillar singled and Steven Duggar drove in two runs on a single to left field.
Just like that, the O’s were down five runs before even stepping to the plate, and it felt as if the game had already been lost. Luckily for both Cashner and the Orioles offense, Giants starter Drew Pomeranz was even worse.
With one out in the bottom of the first inning, the southpaw walked Jonathan Villar, and then allowed three consecutive singles to Trey Mancini, Renato Nunez and Pedro Severino, trimming the lead to 5-2. After a DJ Stewart strikeout, Keon Broxton walked to load the bases for the recently cold Dwight Smith Jr.
Whatever it was that hindered the O’s outfielder was suddenly gone. Smith got every bit of a high Pomeranz fastball and launched it into the centerfield bleachers for a 442-foot grand slam, both the longest home run and the first grand slam of his MLB career, putting the O’s in front by a 6-5 scoreline in the very first inning.
That lead would prove to be quite brief. Yastrzemski, the former Orioles farmhand, led off the second inning with a home run on the first pitch of his at-bat to tie things back up at six runs apiece.
After that, however, Cashner finally settled in. He worked four more innings, allowing two hits, three walks and, most importantly, zero runs to finish his five innings and leave the game in a position to earn the win.
In order to get that win, the Orioles would have to score a few more runs, and they did just that. In the bottom of the second inning, the home team took the lead right back. Villar reached base with a one-out single, and then moved himself around the bases with a steal of second and then another steal of third just before Mancini smacked his 11th home run of the season into the front row of the left field stands. This knock put the O’s up 8-6 and booted Pomeranz out of the game.
Following that Mancini bomb, the two lineups stayed quiet through the middle innings. Cashner had found his groove for the Orioles, while the Giants turned to Dereck Rodriguez, who gave them 4.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
The Baltimore bats weren’t totally done, though. Rodriguez left the game after the sixth inning. In the seventh, Nunez led off the frame with a beefy long ball that traveled 444 feet into the Charm City night. It was the 14th home run of the season for the O’s primary DH and gave them an important insurance run for their always-shaky relief staff.
They wouldn’t need it this time, though. Paul Fry tossed 1.1 scoreless innings. Mychal Givens struck out two in a perfect frame. And Richard Bleier notched his second save of the season with 1.2 innings of clean pitching. No excitement, just outs. Hallelujah!
These two orange and black clad teams will face-off again on Saturday. David Hess (1-6, 6.71 ERA) heads to the mound for the Orioles. He will be opposed by Giants rookie right-hander Shaun Anderson (0-1, 4.80 ERA). First pitch is set for 4:05 p.m. at Camden Yards.
Who was the Most Birdland Player for Friday, May 31, 2019?
This poll is closed
Dwight Smith Jr. (A grand freaking slam)
Andrew Cashner (somehow pitching five innings)
Mychal Givens (impressive out of the ‘pen)
Renato Nunez (massive dong)
Trey Mancini (go-ahead homer)