It took five hours from start to finish, but the Orioles eventually clobbered the Red Sox 14-8 at a rainy Fenway Park on Monday night to earn their 80th win of the season.
Cedric Mullins’ lead off home run to begin the game would prove to be a harbinger of the evening ahead. There was about to be loads of scoring, thanks in large part to home runs for both teams.
The Orioles put up their first crooked number of the day in the top of the second inning. Rougned Odor doubled, and Kyle Stowers singled to start things off. A two-bagger for Jorge Mateo drove in Odor, and then Mullins tripled in both Stowers and Mateo before scoring himself a batter later on an errant pickoff attempt from Red Sox catcher Reese McGuire.
Ceddy doing what Ceddy does pic.twitter.com/79gqRoXcVC— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) September 26, 2022
But the home team would not just go away. They scored twice in the bottom of the second. J.D. Martinez led off with a dong, and a walk followed by three singles got them on the board once again before Orioles starter Jordan Lyles got out of trouble.
That is when the rain came and kicked off what would be an hour-and-40-minute rain delay, knocking both starting pitchers out of the game.
To be fair, neither one seemed poised to last much longer anyway. Connor Seabold had entered the game with a bloated big league ERA in limited chances, and he left the same way. Lyles did not get a single whiff in his two innings and featured a fastball that was more than two miles per hour slower than his season average.
Tyler Danish came on in place of Seabold, forming what would become a well-worn path between the mound and the Boston bullpen. Red Sox manager Alex Cora needed six pitchers to get through the arduous nine-inning affair, and none of them were particularly effective.
The O’s got back to scoring in the third, this time just a single run. Kyle Stowers smacked his first big league triple to score Austin Hays, who had reached on a fielder’s choice.
And now back to your regularly scheduled programming pic.twitter.com/T3s2okIKNk— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) September 27, 2022
Spenser Watkins came on to eat innings in Lyles’ stead. The third inning went well enough, but then the Red Sox began knocking the recently recalled hurler around a little bit, scoring three times on four singles, a walk, and a passed ball. That made it a 6-5 game, and the hopes of this being a laugher were fading.
But have no fear. Unlike you, weary reader, the Orioles offensive did not fall asleep at several internals during this five-hour adventure. They got right back to scoring, twice in the fifth, three times in the sixth, twice more in the seventh, and one final time in the eighth. The hits just kept on coming.
Mixed into that onslaught were two Anthony Santander home runs, an absolute missile of a long ball from Gunnar Henderson, and Austin Hays’ first round-tripper since August 27. It was a good old-fashioned hit parade, and the Orioles were on the right side of it.
It was a big night at the plate for Santander, of course, with the multiple home runs, but also Henderson and Ryan Mountcastle, both of whom walked three times, and Kyle Stowers, who notched three hits. As a group, the Orioles walked (8) more than they struck out (7), and they came up clutch, going 6-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Things were less favorable on the bump with Lyles making the rain-related exit. But credit is due to Watkins, who gobbled up 4.1 important innings in some tough conditions. The righty has been a valuable member of the pitching staff all season long, taking on whatever role required of him, and often doing so in tremendous fashion.
Logan Gillaspie closed things out, missing the save by one out. Over 2.2 innings, the rookie allowed two runs, both of which came on a Rob Refsnyder home run, while striking out two and walking none.
It was a light slate of games throughout MLB, so the Orioles did gain ground in the wild card race as both the Rays and Mariners were idle. They are now just 3.5 games back of the final playoff spot with nine games to play.
The series in Boston continues on Tuesday. Kyle Bradish is on the bump to face veteran Michael Wacha. First pitch is set for 7:10 on what should be a much drier evening.
Who was the Most Birdland Player for September 26?
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Anthony Santander (2 HR, 3 RBI)
Gunnar Henderson (Big HR, 3 BB)
Kyle Stowers (3 hits, first big league 3B)
Spenser Watkins (eatin’ innings)