The Orioles mantra coming into Friday night’s game against the A’s was “Bring the Chaos.” The Birds certainly did that and more, as an eighth-inning rally helped them come away with a 5-2 win over Oakland.
The game played out like a great drama—three acts with different heroes and villains in all of them. Dean Kremer starred early on. Tony Kemp and some poor hitting with RISP spoiled the second act. Then Adley Rutschman cashed in on the opportunity to play the role of hero late. Oh, and GUNNAR HENDERSON was awesome throughout—as we have all come to expect.
The Orioles got on the board first in the third inning. GUNNAR led off the inning with his first Camden Yards AB—rocketing a ball down the first base line for a double. GUNNAR’S bullet was followed by a bloop double from Robinson Chirinos, bringing home the star rookie for his first Camden Yards run. Ryan Mountcastle would cap the rally with a single to right, scoring Chirinos and giving the O’s a 2-0 lead.
Through the first four innings, Kremer was the same dominant pitcher that Birdland saw against Houston. He set the first six batters down in order, striking out four of them. Even when the A’s started off the third with two soft singles, Kremer remained calm. The righty got out of that jam by getting nine hitter Cal Stevenson to line out softly to him, doubling off the runner at first—before ending the inning on an easy fly ball to center. Early on, Kremer’s whole arsenal was working, as he consistently went to his fastball, his cutter and his changeup to get outs.
Then the fifth inning hit and Kremer’s confidence and composure were tested. Vimael Machin led off the inning with a single, and Dermis Garcia then laced one down the third base line to put runners at second and third with no outs. After only throwing two curveballs in the first four innings, Kremer started leaning on the big breaker to try and get out of the jam. At first, it worked; Jonah Bride lined out to third on a curve, and Nick Allen popped out to the catcher off a breaking ball.
However, after a walk to load the bases, Kremer tried to go to the curve one too many times. Tony Kemp singled a 2-2, two-out curveball softly up the middle, tying the game at two. Kremer would finish the inning and then got through the sixth unscathed. The final stat line—6 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs and 6 Ks—was enough to earn a quality start. Yet, it still felt like Kremer left a little something to be desired with his start—a testament to how dominant he and the O’s starters have been of late.
Baltimore then became plagued with missed chances. With one out in the sixth, Mountcastle got on base with a walk. He then moved to third on a Ramon Urias double off the base of the Wall in left. However, unlike the A’s in the fifth, the O’s failed to capitalize on their second and third, one out situation. Mountcastle was thrown at the plate, running on contact when Jesus Aguilar hit a hard grounder to Machin at third. Austin Hays could do no better, grounding out to shortstop to end the inning.
GUNNAR was the next victim of poor hitting with runners in scoring position. HENDERSON showed off his ability to hit to all fields in seventh, lacing a double down the left field line this time. However, Chirinos couldn’t drive him in this time, grounding out to third. Ryan McKenna was then caught looking at strike three to end the scoring threat.
The eighth inning was when the final act began and the Friday’s heroes truly emerged. Anthony Santander walked to lead off the inning and then advanced to second when Mountcastle reached on a slow roller to the second baseman. Brandon Hyde then made the interesting decision of bunting with his cleanup hitter, as Urias dropped down a perfect sacrifice to move up Santander and Mountcastle.
After the bunt, Hyder really started pushing some major managerial buttons. He pinch-hit Cedric Mullins for Jesus Aguilar—only to see Mullins intentionally walked to load the bases. Then, with Austin Hays almost all the way to the right-handed batter’s box, Hyde pulled him back, inserting Adley.
The Orioles’ face of the franchise showed the plate vision and discipline of a ten-year vet. He took multiple close strikes before working the count full, and finally taking a fastball only inches below the zone—pushing home Santander with an RBI walk. Jorge Mateo then opened the flood gates, ripping a single through the left side of the infield on the first pitch he saw, bringing home Mountcastle and Mullins to make it 5-2.
Dillon Tate closed things out in the ninth with a strikeout and double play ball, sealing the Orioles’ 70th win of the season. While the game was certainly more chaotic than most of Birdland would have liked, it still showcased everything that’s been great about these O’s. The starting pitching was overall excellent, the young stars shined bright, and the Orioles picked up the W in a game they have no business losing if they’re going to make the playoffs. Now, all they needed to do is rest up and bring even more chaos tomorrow.
Who was the Most Birdland Player on September 2?
This poll is closed
Adley Rutschman (RBI walk)
GUNNAR HENDERSON (two 2Bs, run scored)
Dean Kremer (six solid innings of work)
Jorge Mateo (2-RBI single in 8th)