The Orioles and Twins played a game tonight that was at times sloppy and which featured something we haven’t seen much of this year: the Orioles scored runs early and often. So many, in fact, that the back half of the game was pretty stress free. Not your typical Orioles game, but I will take it! The end result was a 9-4 Orioles win.
Going into tonight’s game, the story was the starting pitchers. Traded for one another in 2019, who would prevail? Well, the answer to that was...neither? If you are going to pick a loser, it was Twins’ starter Dylan Bundy. He gave up nine runs in under four innings and literally took the loss in the game.
But that doesn’t really mean that Kyle Bradish was the winner. At least, it didn’t feel like it. Knocked out after just four innings with four runs allowed, Bradish was the better of the two pitchers but he wasn’t exactly good.
Luckily for the Orioles, Bundy was terrible enough that the bad outing from Bradish didn’t endanger their lead. They were also helped out by the fact that the Twins hit into an astounding five double plays after getting runners on.
It was a wild game that ended in an Orioles win, so let’s jump into the gory details.
Bradish and Bundy both actually looked pretty good through the first few innings. The Orioles turned their first double play of the night in the first and it wasn’t your standard 4-6-3. After a leadoff single, Carlos Correa hit a pop fly into shallow left-center field. And Jorge Mateo, well, he did this:
An incredible over-the-shoulder catch from Jorge Mateo leads to the double play! pic.twitter.com/6Vh3novPdU— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) May 4, 2022
Wow! Words cannot do that one justice. Bradish retired the Twins 1-2-3 in the second and worked another double play ball in the third. On the other side of the things, Bundy looked about the same for two innings, but in the third he began to look like the Dylan Bundy Orioles fans remember.
I don’t want to give Bundy a hard time. I wish him well in his baseball career. But I do admit to taking some satisfaction that there is at least one former hot prospect who doesn’t figure it all out after he leaves the team. And poor Dylan, he hasn’t figured it out. At least he didn’t tonight.
Jorge Mateo started things off with a double that just fell into no man’s land in the outfield, an expected batting average of just .030! The next batter didn’t have to rely on any luck: Cedric Mullins launched a ball onto the flag court. It actually bounced off of one of the flag poles!
That put the Orioles up 2-0 and the fun was just beginning. Bundy walked Trey Mancini and Anthony Santander, with the former chugging home on an RBI single from Austin Hays. Bundy and the Twins caught a break on the next batter, when Ryan Mountcastle scorched a ball to second base that turned into a double play. But the inning wasn’t over. Rougned Odor hit a line drive single that knocked in Santander, then Ramón Urías finally connected for his first home run of season and it wasn’t a cheapie:
That was the end of the rally as poor Robinson Chirino hit a fly ball to left field that would have probably been a shallow home run in 2021. Tonight it was just the third out. But a six-run lead, what could go wrong?
Well...maybe Bradish didn’t do so well sitting on the bench that long. Or maybe he just got into a little trouble and tried to adjust and things snowballed. But whatever happened, it wasn’t good.
Bradish walked Luiz Arraez ahead of Correa, and there was no double play that time. Correa hit a home run to center almost to the same location that Urías did in the previous inning. Another walk and two singles brought home another run, then Bradish hit Gary Sánchez to load the bases. A sac fly from Gio Urshela brought in the fourth Twins’ run of the inning, and then Bradish got some luck.
Gilberto Celestino hit a line drive to the right side that was definitely headed for right field and would have resulted in another run and an even longer inning. But the ball hit Sánchez for the third out! Phew!
After his bad inning, Bradish was done for the day. But Bundy wasn’t so lucky. After striking out Mateo, Bundy gave up three straight singles to Mullins, Mancini, and Santander. Mancini’s hit was an infield hit and a throwing error allowed both him and Mullins to move to a base. In fact, all three of Mancini’s hits were infield hits, which sort of balances out the bad luck he’s had so far this season.
Anyway, Santander’s single scored Mullins, then the Orioles added on two more runs thanks to an Austin Hays sac fly and an RBI double from Ryan Mountcastle. On Mountcastle hit, Santander scored from first base on what I thought was a sure out. And the ball definitely got home before Santander did, but the catcher Sánchez couldn’t get his glove on it and Santander slid in safely.
When the dust settled, the score was 9-4 in favor of the Orioles and the first four innings had taken nearly two hours. It seemed like we were due for a long time.
But that didn’t really happen! Once the bullpens were in the game, things picked up. This was partially because the Twins hit into double places in each of the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. Cionel Pérez and Dillon Tate were the beneficiaries of those. They each pitched two innings and Jorge López pitched a perfect ninth.
The Twins’ bullpen was similarly good. Over their final four at-bats, the Orioles had just one baserunner thanks to another Mancini infield single. But for the Twins it was too little too late, and the Orioles prevailed 9-4.
The final game of the series is tomorrow with Spenser Watkins pitching against Chris Archer. A win will give the Orioles a series split.
Who was tonight’s Most Birdland Player?
This poll is closed
Trey Mancini (three infield hits, BB)
Cedric Mullins (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R)
Jorge Mateo (hustle double, outstanding defense)
Ramón Urías (HR to center, 2 RBI)