After losing the first game of tonight’s doubleheader to the Mariners, the Orioles looked like they wanted to blow this game as well. After falling behind early, a solid offensive performance brought them back to within three outs of winning only to see the it fall apart. But a two-out rally capped by a a walk-off single from Ramon Urias in the bottom of the seventh salvaged the game, giving the Orioles the 7-6 victory. The win snapped their four-game losing streak and gave them their first home win of the season.
Things didn’t look good early for the Birds as starting pitcher Dean Kremer put them into an early hole. After cruising through two innings, Kremer went from looking great to looking terrible with the flip of the switch. He got the first out in the third but then gave up back-to-back hits to Sam Haggerty (a single) and Mitch Haniger (a double). He lost the plate after that, issuing a walk on four pitches and going 2-0 on Kyle Seager before Seager hit a sacrifice fly to give the Mariners the lead.
Kremer was almost out of it with minimal damage, José Marmolejos changed that in a hurry. He took a 3-2 pitch to deep right field. Anthony Santander tried to jump for the ball, but it clattered off the roof of the groundskeeper shed for the three-run homer.
Kremer got out of the inning after that, but that was it for his night. It was disappointing, as he just looked so good to start the game. He needed only eight pitches in the first inning that ended with him striking out Seager on a killer curve ball. And he worked around a double in the second (also to Marmalejos) with three easy outs. But he just lost it.
Luckily for the Orioles, they came roaring back in the bottom of that very same inning that Kremer lost his mojo. With one out and Freddy Galvis on second, they received the gift of an error. DJ Stewart grounded the ball to second base and Ty France could not get a handle on it. Anthony Santander was then hit by a pitch to load the bases for Trey Mancini.
Mancini is going through a tough time right now. He’s not hitting well and he is visibly frustrated. I’m sure it’s tough for him to finally be back but not be performing the way he wants to. I have faith that he’ll come around, but he did not come around in this particular at bat. He struck out on three pitches, the third pitch almost above his head. It was tough to watch and sad to see his frustrated reaction.
The Orioles though, had that extra out courtesy of the France error, and they made the most of it. Maikel Franco roped a double down the left field line. As the ball headed into the corner Galvis and Stewart scored easily. As Santander rounded third base, the ball came in from left field. The ball got to the catcher in time, but Luis Torrens lost it on the tag. It was a three-run double for Franco, who moved up to third base when the ball got away from the catcher.
Moving up on the error was crucial as the next batter, Ryan Mountcastle, singled to right field to easily bring home the tying run. It was Mountcastle’s second hit of the game as he lined a double in the 2nd inning. He then went on to get his first career stolen base! Being dropped some in the batting order seems to agree with him.
Just like that, the game was tied! And the Orioles didn’t make us wait long until they untied it. They added on two runs in the fourth inning to go ahead for good. A Chance Sisco single and a Freddy Galvis walk set the table for the world’s hottest hitter, Cedric Mullins. Mullins was looking for a hit to extend his hitting streak to 15 games (going back to last season), and he got a good one.
Mullins lined a pitch to right field for the easy double. Sisco singled and Galvis made it to third, where he would come in to score on a sacrifice fly from Santander to give the Orioles a 6-4 lead.
Mancini then walked, which was a very stressful at bat for me. I’m glad he didn’t make an out! Franco grounded out to end the inning. It would have been nice if the Orioles had been able to get a few more runs, because it turns out Adam Plutko wasn’t up to the task of closing things out.
I’m not going to put it all on Plutko, though. After a scoreless fourth inning from Wade LeBlanc, Plutko took over. He looked good for two innings, and then instead of bringing in another pitcher, manager Brandon Hyde sent Plutko out there to try and get the final three outs. Was it the right call? Well...
Plutko did not get the final three outs. He didn’t even get one. A single from JP Crawford brought up Sam Haggerty. Plutko’s 90 mph fastball was no match for Haggerty, who has played in all of 31 games in his career. Haggerty launched that pitch to Eutaw Street to tie the game. Noooooo! Come on, guys. You were so close!
César Valdez came on in relief and immediately gave up a single, but then retired the next three batters to end the inning. Probably should have started the inning with him, huh? I mean, it’s easy to say that in retrospect. Plutko really did look fine right up until he didn’t. I’m glad I’m not in charge of decisions. I’m only in charge of questioning those decisions when they don’t work out.
The Orioles started the bottom of the seventh with two quick outs, and I immediately began envisioning back-to-back extra inning games that don’t even go nine innings so they’re extra weird, and a doubleheader sweep. But the Orioles sometimes surprise me, and tonight was one of those nights.
Franco worked a walk to keep the inning alive, and up to the plate stepped Ryan McKenna. McKenna had replaced Mountcastle in the top of the seventh as a defensive replacement, and I’ll be honest, he was not the Ryan I wanted to see up in that situation. He chopped a ball to the first base side of the pitcher’s mound and sped to first base. The pitcher couldn’t make the play and the inning continued.
It was all down to Ramón Urías to save us from extra innings. A wild pitch moved the runners up to second and third, then Urías became the hero. He lined a pitch right back up the middle, knocking in pinch runner Rio Ruiz. Orioles win! Orioles win!
A walk-off victory is a little less sweet when it comes right after your team blows the lead in the top of the inning, but it’s still a win and I do love to see the players celebrating. As the team celebrated, broadcaster and friend of Camden Chat Kevin Brown noted that it had been 570 days since the last time the Orioles had a home win in front of fans. That makes it pretty darn cool for the fans there to see it tonight.
The Orioles and Mariners are back at it tomorrow night at 7:05 with a pitching match up of Justin Dunn vs. Matt Harvey. See you then!
Who was the Most Birdland Player for Tuesday, April 13th?
This poll is closed
Maikel Franco (bases loaded double, two-out walk in the seventh)
Ryan Mountcastle (2-for-3, double, stolen base)
Cedric Mullins (RBI double, walk, 15-game hit streak)
Ramón Urías (walk-off RBI single)