Hey, is your name Ryan? Thanks for doing your part for helping the Orioles to victory on Tuesday night. It was a real team effort on the part of the Ryans, with McKenna, Mountcastle, and O’Hearn combining for four hits, two home runs, and four runs scored as part of the O’s 7-3 victory over the Angels. The win halted a little two-game losing streak before it could roll on another day and start making people really grumpy.
It wasn’t only the Ryans, of course. That would be silly. Starting pitcher Dean Kremer tossed an outing that was a “Gunnar Henderson shouldn’t have dived in front of Jorge Mateo” ground ball away from a quality start; instead, Kremer finished 5.2 innings and reliever Bryan Baker allowed the inherited runner to score, so Kremer got stuck with the third earned run.
Most of the Orioles lineup contributed as well. Six of the nine starting players had a hit, seven different players scored a run, and five guys drove in at least one run. Out of the bullpen, Cionel Pérez contributed two innings, without allowing any baserunners at all - a rarity for him in the 2023 season and enough to make you hope maybe he’s turning the corner.
Yennier Cano tossed a scoreless ninth, probably because he’d already gotten warm earlier in the game when the score was closer and the Orioles chose to avoid the dreaded reliever dry hump. I hardly even need to say that Cano didn’t allow anyone to reach base.
The game did not start out so positively for the Orioles. The first Angels batter of the game, former #1 overall pick Mickey Moniak, got the party started by hitting a 408 foot home run, putting the O’s in an early hole. After yesterday’s Grayson Rodriguez outing, you could be forgiven for thinking, “Oh no, here we go again.” This feeling may have struck again when the Orioles got two men on base with one out, and loaded the bases with two outs, but did not score.
We went somewhere else instead. The first Ryan to make things fun was O’Hearn, who tied the game with a second inning home run off of Angels starting pitcher Chase Silseth. Again in contrast to Rodriguez yesterday, Kremer did not respond to his offense scoring a run by immediately letting the Angels take the lead again. He put up zeroes in the third and fourth inning.
The Orioles took the lead for good in the fourth inning. Gunnar Henderson led off with a double, extending a hitting streak to a modest four games. So began a rally that eventually gave the Orioles the lead and chased Silseth from the contest. Terrin Vavra smoked a one-out single to score Henderson, then got himself to scoring position with a wild pitch. which allowed him to score the third Orioles run as Jorge Mateo hit a single.
That was the end for Silseth. The Angels summoned lefty reliever Tucker Davidson. Though it was only the fourth inning, the Orioles pinch hit to maintain the platoon advantage for the DH, substituting O’Hearn for Mountcastle, a righty. In a season marked by hard luck, Mountcastle’s due to catch some breaks, and he did here, floating a bloop double that landed on the chalk down the left field line. Mateo went on to score as Cedric Mullins grounded out, giving the Orioles a 4-1 lead after four innings.
This narrowed to 4-2 after Kremer gave up a leadoff double to Gio Urshela in the fifth inning. Urshela scored later as rookie Zach Neto, the first 2022 draftee to hit MLB, singled him home. Two runs allowed heading into the sixth is still pretty good. Kremer nearly got through the sixth, but it just didn’t happen. Baker, fortunately, did not blow the game, only letting the one inherited runner score even if he gave up two hits.
Not a dominant outing for Kremer, but good enough to win. He allowed six hits over 5.2 innings, with no walks and four strikeouts. He’s 5-1 on the season despite his 4.97 ERA.
Fellow Orioles blog Eutaw Street Report has noticed a frequent formula that 2023 O’s wins follow. It is:
- Fall behind early
- Mid-inning comeback
- Late-inning butt-clenching
It looked like the Orioles might be in line for a classic 2023 win after things narrowed to 4-3 in the top of the sixth. The Ryans had other plans and the O’s just skipped step 3 entirely on the way to the win.
The bottom of the sixth began with Adam Frazier being hit by a pitch. Ryan McKenna smoked a hard ground ball up the middle that deflected off the foot of the reliever Davidson and into left field. This turned into a double and led Davidson to exit the game. Second and third with no out. You had to hope they’d get at least a run, and they did that right away as Mateo hit a sacrifice fly that scored Frazier without a throw.
For a thunderous punctuation mark, Mountcastle followed with a titanic home run, one that traveled a colossal 433 feet to easily clear the fence in the deepest part of the ballpark. This held the distinction of being the 50th Orioles home run of the season, which meant that tonight’s lottery contestant of the game won $50,000. I hope they spend some of the winnings on a Mountcastle jersey. This homer scored two runs and set the score at its 7-3 final.
There simply was no butt-clenching. Pérez, whose WHIP for the season was over 2, did not let anyone on base in his two innings. He faced both Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani in that time. Neither one reached base in the game. Pérez now has a WHIP under 2. Cano was warming when it was 4-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth. Perhaps we’d have gotten two innings of him if the score stayed at a one-run margin. Instead, he pitched the ninth and finished off the game.
The Orioles are back in the win column, now 27-15 on the season. A hearty good job once again to all the Ryans out there. They gained no ground on the Rays, because the Rays beat the Mets.
This four-game series continues at 6:35 on Wednesday. Griffin Canning is set to start for the Angels, with Kyle Bradish pitching for the Orioles. Canning has a 6.38 ERA in five starts this year for LAA, so hopefully the Orioles take care of business there. Kyles, it’s your turn to shine.
Who was the Most Birdland Player for May 16, 2023?
This poll is closed
Ryan McKenna (double, run scored)
Ryan O’Hearn (home run in only at-bat)
Ryan Mountcastle (double, home run)