With Mike Elias watching from the MASN broadcast booth, Renato Núñez blasted a go-ahead, three-run home run over the green monster to break a scoreless tie. The blast proved to be all the Orioles would need, and Baltimore took down Boston 4-1 in the first game of the season finale.
While Núñez provided all the offense for Baltimore, Asher Wojciechowski dominated the Red Sox through six scoreless innings. Wojciechowski allowed only four hits, walked just one, and struck out six Boston batters.
Wojciechowski picked up his second win in his last three starts, and will finish the season at 4-8. There were certainly some rough outings along the way, but Wojciechowski will leave Elias and the Orioles on a positive note to end the season. He’ll likely participate in a wide open competition for a back-end spot in the 2020 rotation next spring.
Núñez also made a quality impression with one of his bosses watching. Elias joined the MASN broadcast booth for the third and fourth innings, and had positive things to say about Núñez and other under-the-radar acquisitions.
“Big Power, and a really good pick up by the organization last year,” Elias said. He pointed out how important waiver wire and minor league signings are for a club in a rebuilding phase. Elias inherited a barren farm system, but he did get Núñez. Still, Elias understands the importance of buying lottery tickets. Hanser Alberto has blossomed into a quality Major Leaguer, and he wasn’t the only surprise this season.
Elias immediately brought up John Means as a pleasant surprise this season. He referred to Means as a legitimate piece moving forward, and called him “an example of the type of breakout that you can get in this situation.”
Elias said that the Orioles young players will be leaving with a clear understanding of what they need to accomplish over the offseason. He said one of the reasons he accompanied the team on the trip was to gain face time with all of the O’s young players. It’s a small thing, but another positive sign about this administration. The work doesn’t start next spring. These guys will know what they need to work on this offseason, and they’ll be expected to improve before Spring Training.
Elias spoke highly of Mark Trumbo after Trumbo joined the booth in the second inning. Elias likened Trumbo to a coach, and spoke to the benefit of having him around the young guys this season.
Trumbo spoke highly of the Orioles organization, and certainly sounded like a guy who is watching his baseball career come to an end. Trumbo told Gary Thorne that O’s skipper Brandon Hyde plans to start Trumbo on Sunday. Trumbo praised Hyde and the way that his playing time has been managed down the stretch.
When Throne asked Trumbo about his future, he refused to firmly commit. He provided a telling answer stating he needed to see more from his body in terms of bouncing back from injuries. Trumbo said there was a point this season where he really wasn’t sure if he would make it back to Baltimore. It’s nice that he’ll be going out on his own terms if that’s how things break.
When Thorne asked Trumbo if he had any future with the Orioles, Trumbo gave a pretty clear answer. He understands what phase the Orioles are in.
“I’m pretty sure this is going to be it,” Trumbo said. “I’ve really enjoyed my time here.. The fans, the coaching staff, and the team have been tremendous.”
After Núnez’s 414-foot blast in the third, neither team scored until the ninth inning. Núñez drove in Austin Hays with an RBI single to right in the top half, and Xander Bogaerts plated Rafael Devers with a single to get the Sox on the board.
Both teams finished with six hits in the contest. Núñez and Hays combined for four of Baltimore’s six knocks.
Tanner Scott, Mychal Givens and Richard Bleier each pitched an inning to secure the victory.
Baltimore will look to keep the momentum going with John Means taking the mound tomorrow at 1:05.
Who was the most Birdland player on Friday, September 27?
This poll is closed
Renato Núñez (2-5, 3-run home run, all 4 RBIs)
Asher Wojciechowski (6 innings, four hits, 0 runs, 6 K)