After a disappointing first game in today’s doubleheader, the Orioles came back to win the second game with one big offensive inning and another very solid day from the bullpen. This wasn’t a flashy game from the offense, who did just enough to win. And while starter Denyi Reyes and a team of four relief pitchers were effective, none was especially lights out. They just kept the Red Sox off the board. The end result was a 4-2 win for the Orioles that puts them in good position for the rest of the series.
Odor Leads the Offense
The Orioles scored all four of their runs in the third inning, and three came on one swing. After they stranded runners in both the first and second innings, I was afraid it was going to be one of those games. But in the third inning, they came through.
Austin Hays kicked things off with a single, and a stolen base. Anthony Santander followed that with a walk to put two on with no outs. Unfortunately that was followed by a Ryan Mountcastle strikeout and a lineout by Adley Rutschman. Just as I was thinking, “Not MORE stranded runners!” Ramón Urías singled back up the middle. Hays scored to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead and Rougned Odor stepped to the plate.
Remember how often we all used to ask why Odor was on the team? People aren’t really asking that anymore. He has turned on the offense, he got the home run chain, and he seems like a great teammate. And on this night he was a really great teammate because he took one ball and then launched the next pitch 410 feet into right-center field. The end result? A three-run home run and a 4-0 Orioles lead.
After the third inning, the bats went to sleep. It was a deep slumber. Jorge Mateo doubled after Odor’s home run, but after that it was a barren scene. A Ryan McKenna strikeout to end the third kicked off a run of 10 consecutive Orioles to make outs. They put one runner on in each of the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings but couldn’t do anything with them. Luckily, it ended up not mattering.
The 27th Man Leads the Way
Denyi Reyes made the emergency start for the Orioles, called up as the 27th man for the doubleheader. Reyes was never expected to go deep into the game as he hadn’t topped five innings pitched in any of his seven minor league games this year. Tonight he lasted 3.2 innings with one run allowed.
He started off strong with a six-pitch first inning. Give me one of those every time! Alas, he didn’t give us one of those every time. He got himself in trouble in the second inning by allowing two two-out singles, but then a nice catch of a line drive by Jorge Mateo ended the inning.
In his fourth and final inning, Reyes gave up his only run of the game. Trevor Story doubled, then came around to score two batters later on a single from Christian Vazquez. Reyes followed that with a walk but manager Brandon Hyde allowed him to face one more batter. He struck out Bobby Dalbec for the second out, but didn’t get the chance to get the third. Hyde went to Joey Krehbiel to get the last out, and he did.
I was hoping we’d see the newly called up Cody Sedlock pitch tonight, but perhaps a 4-1 lead in Boston isn’t the best place for the a guy with a 5.83 ERA in triple-A this year. Instead, after Krehbiel pitched a scoreless fifth inning, Hyde turned to Félix Bautista and then Cionel Pérez.
Pérez came on with two outs in the seventh when Bautista allowed a runner to reach. Pérez got the third out to pick up his teammate. Then with two outs in the eighth, Pérez gave up a double to Vaquez and Hyde called on closer Jorge López.
I still haven’t grown accustomed to López being reliable enough to bring in with runners on base, but it’s something I need to get over. Just as Pérez had done an inning before, López came in and stranded the runner.
A Dicey Ninth with a Happy Ending
López was back out for the ninth to try for the save, and got a ground ball from Dalbec that Mateo couldn’t make the play on. It was scored an error, and when the next batter singled I felt that familiar sense of impending doom. Did you feel it too? Maybe one day we’ll stop feeling that way.
López induced another ground ball that looked like it could be a double play, but Ramón Urías couldn’t get a quick grip on the ball and it ended up being just a force out at second with Dalbec scoring to make the game 4-2.
Kiké Hernández stepped to the plate with just one out, representing the tying run. As Hernández worked the count to 2-2, Jim Palmer ominously talked about how great the batter on deck, Rafael Devers, has hit against López in his career. But that didn’t matter because Hernández grounded into a double play to end the game.
Orioles win! They got the doubleheader split and have taken a 2-1 lead in this five-game series. They’ll be back at it tomorrow at 1:35 with Bruce Zimmermann on the mound.
Who is the Most Birdland Player for May 28th?
This poll is closed
Austin Hays (2-for-5, SB, run)
Rougned Odor (Earl Weaver Special)
Denyi Reyes (did as much as we probably could expect)