Everything was clicking for the Orioles on Sunday afternoon as they withstood a lengthy rain delay, put forth their best offensive effort on the year, and got another solid start from Jordan Lyles in a 9-5 win over the visiting Red Sox.
This was about as good as Lyles has looked in an Orioles uniform. As is his style, there weren’t many smooth innings, in fact it was often a struggle, but the outcome was ideal. The veteran tossed six innings and allowed just one run despite serving up seven hits and walking three.
Runners reached base against Lyles in every inning but the sixth. For much of the afternoon, he kept the Boston bats at bay. A leadoff walk didn’t bite him in the first, he wiggled out of putting two runners in scoring position in the second, tip-toed around loaded bases in the third, and forced an inning-ending double play in the fourth. All circumstances that on a different day could have ended poorly and resulted in Lyles hitting the showers early. Instead, he bounced back from a rough outing to put together a quality start.
The only bump in Lyles day came in the fifth inning. A lead-off double from Xander Bogaerts turned into a run a few batters later when Franchy Cordero drove him in on a sacrifice fly. But that was it against Lyles. Boston had plenty of runners on base all day, but just could not come through with the big hit.
Meanwhile, the Orioles offense finally had a big day. It took a while to get going, but at least it happened at all.
In the fifth inning, Rougned Odor singled, Ramón Urías doubled, and then Tyler Nevin drove them both in with a single to left field. A little while later, Nevin himself scored on an Anthony Santander sacrifice fly to left field.
It was the sixth inning when the flood gates opened, both figuratively and literally.
Odor led off with a solo home run, his first as an Oriole, and it was an absolute bomb to the right-center bleachers. Urías reached on a walk, and then the game was put on paused due to unrelenting rain that had been coming down for at least one full inning at that point.
The rain can't cool down this heat! pic.twitter.com/bJNblgeYIW— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) May 1, 2022
After a two-hour delay, the O’s picked up right where they left off. Nevin reached on a hit by pitch, Anthony Bemboom walked, and Jorge Mateo broke the game wide-open with a double to score Urías and Nevin to make it 6-1 in favor of the good guys.
Santander widened the gap further with a two-run base hit to score Bemboom and Mateo. And it was Ryan Mountcastle that put on the finishing touches with a single to drive in Santander and make it 9-1.
Baltimore’s offense was contained to those two innings, but at least they were crooked numbers. An injection of power was appreciated, and there were contributions throughout the lineup as every starter except for Austin Hays had a hit and reached base at least twice.
Even the defense was solid for the Orioles in this win, something that is been a rarity this season. Nevin had a diving stop at first base in the fifth inning, and Odor one-upped him in the eighth inning by smoothly fielding a groundball into shallow right field and making a perfect throw for the out.
For a while, it looked like the only reliever that the Orioles would have to use was Travis Lakins Sr. The much-maligned righty was brought in after the rain delay, and the ever-widening lead seemed as though it would let him finish things up.
To his credit, Lakins made his way through his first two innings cleanly. He erased a lead-off single in the seventh with a double play, and then was able to work around a lead-off double in the eighth inning without allowing a run. But he ran into trouble as he turned the lineup over in the ninth, loading the bases ahead of J.D. Martinez, who promptly unloaded them to draw Boston within a four-spot.
Joey Krehbil came in to get the final two outs and did just that with a groundout and a fly out. His season ERA is down to 0.90 while Lakins saw his rise to 9.72.
It was a tough week for the Orioles as they lost five games in a row, but if you zoom out a bit their recent form isn’t all that bad. They won the series against the Angels last weekend, and beat the Red Sox this weekend. The sweep at the hands of the Yankees in between was a blow, but they may have just caught them at the wrong time.
The O’s begin a week against the AL Central with a Monday night matchup against the Minnesota Twins in what everyone will surely call the “Correa Bowl,” as his current team and future team face-off. Tyler Wells is on the mound for the Birds. First pitch is 7:05.
Who was the Most Birdland Player for May 1, 2022?
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Jordan Lyles (W, 1 R, 7 H, 3 BB, 6 SO)
Rougned Odor (2-for-5, HR, defense)
Tyler Nevin (1-for-2, BB, HBP, 2 RBI, defense)
Anthony Santander (2-for-3, 3 RBI)